5kg penalty puzzles top weight’s trainer 

COASTAL gallopers dominate Sunday’s $25,000 Watson, McNamara & Watt Guyra Cup (1400m) after Racing NSW handicappers yesterday allotted just three runners more than the 54kg minimum Cup weight.

And Taree-trained Never Doubt Me was left out on a Cup weights limb when the gelding received 59.5kg.

Coffs Harbour mare, Erinsea (Brett Dodson) and Ballina gelding Haslington (Danny Bowen) were the only other two runners weighted above the 54kg minimum, receiving 54.5kg apiece.

It leaves four-year-old Never Doubt Me a daunting task to give all her rivals five and five and a half kilograms respectively.

She has had just the one start at Armidale too, running a length fourth to Mt Rainier in last year’s Walcha Cup at Armidale.

At her last start she was just over half a length fourth to Pitt Street in the Walcha Cup.

In last year’s Walcha Cup at Armidale she carried 54kg, the same weight as winner Mt Rainier but will carry 5.5kg more than the Craig Martin-trained gelding, who finished off nicely in last Friday’s Lightning at Quirindi behind The Jackal.

Armidale Jockey Club secretary Jim Dedes was intrigued by the weight difference for Never Doubt Me and Mt Rainier, who has had just the one run back from a long spell since winning that Walcha Cup and was talking to Never Doubt Me’s trainer Neil Godbolt yesterday.

“I was talking to Neil earlier this morning and he said he was going to accept regardless but his biggest problem was getting here,” Dedes said.

“He said the flooding down there is extensive but will accept and then see what happens. Already Grafton has been moved from Friday to Monday and Coffs have moved from Monday to Wednesday. It’s been a fine day here today but we are supposed to get more rain, about 20mm on Thursday.”

Hewentwhoosh topped the weights for Monday’s $15,000 Agrigrain Benchmark 70 Handicap (1400m) at Coonamble.

The Brett Thompson-trained gelding received 62kg while Equable, one of seven dual nominees from the Guyra Cup, received 58.5kg along with Mt Rainier, Sue Grills’ Monashee Woods and Luke Griffith’s