THE Tamworth at Armidale meeting last Thursday had plenty of highlights, one being that it was a seven-event race card and the number one barrier produced four winners and the six barrier three winners.
Mitch Faulkner felt right at home in driving a winner at his home track of Armidale behind the Narrabri-trained pacer Padrisimo from the six barrier.
“It’s always good to drive at Armidale, my home track,” said Faulkner, who took the reins for trainer Jarred Hetherington.
“It was a very competitive field and it was always about getting the right run into the race. That’s what happened and we didn’t have to be too wide on the track.”
Drawing the six barrier in the PeterMac Photography Pace with Padrisimo, Faulkner pulled to the back of the field while stablemate Lexy Can Wait raced outside the leader, Fours Enuf Tas from the Weidemann stables.
At the 800m mark, Padrisimo was set the task of gaining the lead, which the gelding did as the field rounded the final turn to go on for a 7m win over Fours Enuf Tas (Lola Weidemann). Condafew (Stacey Weidemann) was a further 20m away in third.
The trip down from Clifton to the Armidale meeting also proved to be a success for the Weidemann stables when they produced two winners.
Miss Catalina was the second from the stables to have a win, after starting from the one barrier, while stablemate, Ghost Gum had a win earlier in the day from the one barrier, taking out the Tamworth HRC Awards Presentation Night Saturday 13th October Pace.
“We had a draw with this horse [Miss Catalina] and you have to make the most of them [draws] when you get them,” Weidemann said.
“She is a good old stick and tries hard.”
Miss Catalina, an eight-year-old mare, was having race start 182 to produce career win 18.
“It is good to win one race,” Weidemann said, “but it is nicer to win two races - is great.”
FORMER Victorian pacer Jyenamite was explosive in taking out the TAB Rewards Pace at Armidale.
“He is still a bit green but hopefully he will get out of that,” said Tamworth trainer Tony Missen, who races the five-year-old Shadow Play gelding in partnership with Darren Edwards and Dean Taylor.
Jyenamite was having his second race start for the Missen stables after making his debut at Tamworth on September 26 where he finished seventh to Narrabri pacer Million Dollar Mac (Mitch Faulkner).
“Drawing the one barrier was a good help,” Missen said.
Moonbi reinsman Dean Chapple took the drive behind Jyenamite.
Jyenamite was certainly presented well with green hopples and Chapple decked out in attractive green and blue silks.
“The boys go for the Canberra Raiders so it is all green,” Chapple said.
Jyenamite has now had 17 race starts for two wins, with the first win back in July at Melton.
KID Montana and Keayang Sponge Bob are off to Menangle to contest a $20,000 final after taking out their respective Menangle heats at Armidale last week.
Narrabri pacer Kid Montana won the $10,000 Craig Vincent Portable Horse Stables Club Menangle Country Series Heat.
“We set the horse for this race a little while out as we thought he deserved his chance,” reinsman Chris Shepherdson said.
“He actually showed he can do a fair bit of work today and he has still gone good – very proud of the little fella.
“We took him to the Tamworth trials a few weeks ago and it was the first time I had used him out of the gate - he led out of four and they broke the track record. He went 56.2 and won the trial.
“To sit in the breeze (outside leader) in his race today I was happy with that.
“He is still a very green horse and he did race very fierce in his first start for us. He went on to win by a long way but at least he has continued on and is not a one-shot pony.”
Kid Montana had his first career win at Armidale back in March with a winning margin of 32.3m. Last Thursday the Rock N Roll Heaven horse had career win eight in taking out the Menangle heat by 3.6m over Joey Tee from the Ernie Mabbott stables.
Keayang Sponge Bob gave reinswoman Madi Young her first win for the season after taking out the $10,000 Uralla Vet Clinic Club Menangle Where Horses Fly Heat.
“It is really good that he has qualified for Menangle – the owner would be stoked with the win,” Young said.
FRIDAY night will see Maitland HRC host the next round of heats for the Kari Indigenous Driver Series with Manilla reinswoman Courtney Sutherland scoring another two drives.
She has drawn the 11 barrier with the Darren Elder-trained Neverhaveiever and the one barrier in the second heat behind Pay On The Pacer trained by Michael Osborn.
Sutherland will then head out to Parkes to contest the final round of heats on Sunday and then the Menangle final on Sunday, October 28.
The Maitland meeting has also attracted runners from Tamworth trainers in Danny Mackney, Greg Coney and Sarah Rushbrook, while the Narrabri stables of Jarred Hetherington will also travel to the meeting.
Tamworth HRC will race again at Armidale on Thursday, October 18.