Autumn Ridge to debut at Tamworth Jockey Club

DEBUTANT: Autumn Ridge returns to the saddling enclosure at Tamworth after his recent trial win. Photo: Supplied
DEBUTANT: Autumn Ridge returns to the saddling enclosure at Tamworth after his recent trial win. Photo: Supplied

AUTUMN Ridge makes his debut at Tamworth in today’s $20,000 Cellarbrations Maiden Plate (1000m).

The Mel O’Gorman-trained gelding is a three-year-old son of Dream Ballad and out of the former race mare, Youth Dew, who was trained by Steve Miller.

Steve and wife Cheryl race Autumn Ridge with their daughter, Erin Sinclair and son Will.

Cheryl, one of the enthusiastic Tamworth Jockey Club committee members, said Autumn Ridge had a “nice little trial” at Tamworth recently.

“Steve used to train Youth Dew and won a few with her before he sent her to Pat Webster in Sydney,” Cheryl said after Autumn Ridge’s 900m trial win.

“She was a good little mare from a good family.”

The talented Willow Ridge was also out of that family.

Autumn Ridge has drawn barrier six and will be ridden by Billy Cray.

He is also one of Mel O’Gorman’s three runners on the eight-race program, joining stablemates Pellegrina in race five and Peloso Lass in race eight.

He is also one of three winners from those recent Tamworth trials to run at Tamworth tomorrow.

Cody Morgan’s Moscow Mistress and Red Axe are also engaged and if Vindicated gets a run, Morgan will have three runners on a day where some 18 Tamworth trainers will have around 39 runners.

Sue Grills has six entered for the meeting, Craig Martin will have four while Mark Mason, Sally Torrens and Stephen Dixon all have three apiece.

That leaves the likes of Michelle Fleming, Ray Hartley, Phillip Duffy, Peter Cleal, Mark Hatch, Melissa Dennett, Troy O’Neile, Colin Dixon, Kevin Dixon, and Jane Clement to start either one or two runners.

The Tamworth track is rated a good four and will race well again after providing such a good surface at the recent Cup meeting.

That hugely successful Mercure Tamworth Cup meeting was followed by 10 barrier trials.

Almost 3000 people turned out for the up meeting and made it a wonderful day, Tamworth Jockey Club general manager Kay Jeffrey said.

 “It exceeded our expectations,” Jeffrey said.

“We had worked very hard to pull it all together and we were more than happy with the way it all went.

“Everyone was well behaved, we had no issues there but there was a real family atmosphere too.

“Having the Test cricketers [Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood] there added a nice touch and we also had the country music stars Amber Lawrence, Alyce Simmonds and Ashleigh Dallas, too.”