I KNOW I speak on behalf of the entire Moruya and South Coast racing fraternity when conveying our welcome back to the race day saddle to Roly Saxton.
It’s been a long time coming and it’s been a long fight for Roly on the road to recovery but he’s back with at least three rides at tomorrow’s big eight-race meeting at Nowra.
Best wishes to Roly for a successful and injury-free return tomorrow, where he will ride for Luke Pepper, John Peiti and Gary Crossley, and for the future, particularly with the South Coast summer cups series getting into full swing in the weeks and months ahead.
Welcome back Roly, we’ve all missed you!
It’s been another busy week on the road again for our trainers and gallopers with some terrific performances on the regional circuit.
Let’s start with last Friday’s meeting in Canberra where eight Moruya runners stepped out, the first to mention being Lynda Bundy’s Moorings Siren.
The three-year-old gelding returned from a spell with a magnificent eight-length victory on Melbourne Cup day at Moruya at just his third start, and he lined up in the class one (1000m) sprint against Luke Pepper’s debut winner Starzov (among others) who was returning from a one-year break.
Both horses led the field and looked like fighting out the finish, but Barbara Joseph’s Oyster Bell spoiled the party when swooping late to claim victory out wide just ahead of Moorings Siren in second and Starzov in third. I can’t wait for their next assignments.
Lynda’s Moorings Capital ran in a very strong open (1300m) event with James Geppert in the saddle and nearly claimed victory in her first race for several months, finishing a terrific long neck/half neck third in a photo finish.
Luke’s Quichang also ran in that race, first up from a spell and looks set for a good campaign ahead with a close fifth.
I loved the run of Bill and Edith Asplund’s Bay Prince, which John Law sent out in peak fitness with Jessie Whipp aboard, and he finished strongly from well back to a claim a close fifth in the benchmark 55 (1200m) event, making up lots of ground on the leaders in the straight.
The teams combine again today at Nowra (race six) over the same distance and class and he should be prominent in the finish again.
Greg McFarlane’s honorary Moruya horse Roman Alliance won the benchmark 62 (1400m) event and is back to his winning ways.
It could be a very big week for Grieg and Helen for, as I write on Thursday morning, John Marzol is on the road to the provincial meeting at Gosford with Grey Drama, with Nash Rawiller engaged to ride in race seven.
His last-start win when resuming was sensational and our best wishes for a big race in tough company is riding with them all.
Chicka Pearson and James Geppert were our representative at Saturday’s Cooma Cup meeting with the pair returning home with a third placing in the class two mile going to Euclid Avenue.
Attention then turned to Queanbeyan on Sunday where Luke’s Freetoair ran a mighty race when resuming, going down by a short head for second in the open (900m) scamper, taken out by Tony Sergi’s Diamond To Pegasus.
Matt Stephen’s Domidor, also resuming, ran on strongly for third in that event and both will be forces to contend with as their distances progress.
Another honourable mention goes to Colbey Hill’s grand campaigner Conciliatory, who ran like a young gun when closing rapidly to claim third in the benchmark 54 sprint.
What a lot of Moruya-based prospects we have headed to Nowra today, which I hope will provide plenty of success stories for next week’s column.
Race one sees Neil Perryman on Brett Jones’ Macks Swiftly (a lead in itself) and Roly rides She’s Bluwin for Gary Crossley.
Lynda and Mike Gatty have runners in race two, while John Marzol’s Joke A Lot, a winner at his last two starts, and Mike’s Bengello run in race three.
Jessie Whipp reunites with John Law’s Circuit Spirit and Roly with John Peiti’s Tricia Jane and they run against Lynda’s Moorings Magic and Rob Fisher’s Zulu Impus in race five.
As mentioned look for a big run from Bay Prince with Jessie aboard and from Luke’s Magic Franco in race six, with both races seven and eight having a host of Moruya runners, particularly if the emergencies get a run.
Luke Pepper and John Marzol should have runners at Wagga on Sunday if noms turn into acceptances.
Until next week, good luck and good punting.