Horse racing: Brett Cavanough tied for first in new trainers' premiership after finishing third last season

STEADY HAND: Scone-based Brett Cavanough has continued to produce plenty of winners.
STEADY HAND: Scone-based Brett Cavanough has continued to produce plenty of winners.

BRETT Cavanough finished third in the Hunter and North West Racing Association trainers’ premiership in the just-completed season, and is one of 14 co-leaders after two meetings in the new HNWRA season.

The Scone-based trainer snared 31 winners last season, to finish behind Newcastle trainers Kris Lees (42) and Paul Perry (33).

Cavanough finished second to Lees on the country trainers’ premiership with 54 wins, 32 adrift of Lees but 10 ahead of third-placed Perry. His 278 runners earned $948,685 in prizemoney.

Cavanough finished 11th in the NSW trainers’ premiership with 57 wins. Chris Waller (258) won that from James Cummings (179) and Kris Lees (177.5).

The next best HNWRA-based trainer was Tamworth’s Sue Grills. She was 16th with 26 and a half wins, her 276 runners earning $503,825 in prizemoney.

While Armidale’s Stirling Osland (25) and Scone’s Rod Northam (25) finished equal 19th, Osland’s 179 runners earned $413,875 in prizemoney and Northam’s 220 runners $572,562.

That Cavanough won the first race of the new HNWRA season at Muswellbrook last Sunday was a tip that he will take some beating this year after he finished with 57 wins statewide last season, 11th on the list. His 328 runners statewide earned $1,209,800 in prizemoney.

With Skye Bogenhuber now his number one stable rider, it could be a premiership-winning partnership given Bogenhuber sits atop the HNWRA jockey’s premiership at this early stage of the season.

She has two wins – the same as Andrew Gibbons, Aaron Bullock, Christian Reith and last season’s leading jockey, Greg Ryan.

She will ride four of Cavanough’s five runners at Tamworth on Friday – Sun Peaks (race two), No Reason (R5), Another Plan (R6) and Pompous (R8).

Leanne Henry will partner Cavanough’s other runner, Brighter Days, in the first.

The HNWRA jockey’s premiership went right to the wire. Greg Ryan (51) prevailed from Aaron Bullock (50) while Louise Day and Mikayla Weir (13) dead-heated in the HNWRA apprentices premiership.

2017-18 HUNTER & NORTH WEST RACING ASSOCIATION PREMIERSHIPS

TRAINERS: 42 Kris Lees, 33 Paul Perry, 31 Brett Cavanough, 20 Rod Northam, Stirling Osland, 18.5 Sue Grills, 14 Allan Denham, Melissa Dennett, 12 Paddy Cunningham, Craig Martin, Luke Morgan.

JOCKEYS: 51 Greg Ryan, 50 Aaron Bullock, 37 Robert Thompson, 36 Grant Buckley, 35 Ben Looker, Josh Oliver, 34 Rachael Murray, 28 Andrew Gibbons, 23 Josh Adams, 17 Mitchell Bell, Jodi Worley, 15 Vad Bolozhinskyi, Geoff Snowden, 14 Luke Cumberland.

APPRENTICES: 13 Louise Day, Mikayla Weir, 10 Chloe Baker, Chris Williams, 8 Clayton Gallagher, 7 Cejay Graham, 4 Jean Van Overmeire, Wendy Peel, 3 Robbie Dolan, Chelsea Ings, Lexie McPherson, Alena Skerritt, Adam Spinks, Qin Yong, 2: Carla Dougherty, Jamie Gibbons, Rachel Hunt, Leah Kilner, Hyosik Lee, Miki Nakao, Jackson Murphy.

2018-19 HUNTER & NORTH WESTERN RACING ASSOCIATION PREMIERSHIPS

Unofficial and compiled by Geoff Newling.

TRAINERS: 1 Graeme Brooker, Brett Cavanough, Jason Coyle, Cameron Crockett, Stephen Farley, Paul Grills, Ken Lantry, Kris Lees, Dianne Lumsden, Geoff O’Brien, Stirling Osland, Brett Partelle, Paul Perry, Peter & Paul Snowden.

JOCKEYS: 2 Skye Boganhuber, Aaron Bullock, Andrew Gibbons, Christian Reith, Greg Ryan, 1 Adrian Layt, Daniel Pitomac.

APPRENTICES: 2 Mikayla Weir, 1 Louise Day.