AFTER the magnificent Narooma Cup meeting two weeks ago, all roads lead to the Moruya Jockey Club again on Monday for another dose of colour, excitement, competitive racing and family entertainment with the running of the Moruya Cup, the most historic race on our racing calendar.
With huge nominations received by the club for all races on the eight-event program, we can expect to see almost maximum fields line up in each race on an afternoon that will be televised live through the TVN and SKY Channel networks, showcasing our beautiful track and picturesque course to the nation.
With good weather predicted I expect another mammoth crowd to flock through the gates to enjoy the afternoon of racing, community spirit and entertainment for young and old alike.
Cup fever festivities kick off on Sunday evening at 7pm at the classic Cup Calcutta, with special guest Richard Calendar in attendance, so we are assured of a very entertaining evening to mark this special annual occasion.
All facilities will be in full swing as usual including the very popular fashions on the field contests, full details of which, as well as the dedicated race-day bus services, are set out in the Moruya Jockey Club’s promotional poster on page 29 of today’s edition.
John Marzol has a handy lead in the trainers’ premiership race and James Geppert has jumped to the lead in the jockeys’ title race and all jockeys and trainers will be out to improve their positions on Monday.
It’s been another busy week for our trainers and jockeys in the lead-up to Monday and as usual there are plenty of good news stories to report.
Last Friday, Brett Jones’ Macks Cutie Stepped out at Canberra in the benchmark 55 (1300m) event, finishing mid-field in a maximum field, and James Geppert rode at the meeting.
Two meetings on Saturday attracted Moruya runners, the first being at Tumut, where John Marzol’s Banana Bender just missed the placings in the benchmark 54 sprint with James Geppert aboard.
James had a full book on the six-race program, ending the day with two wins, a second and a third.
Meanwhile at Queanbeyan, Roly Saxton rode in all seven races on the card, claiming two wins, as well as a close fourth on John Peiti’s Summer Duck Wood, returning from a spell.
Roly also rode our other runner on the day, Bernie Connell’s Ivatreati, which finished mid-field in his race.
Both James and Roly had several rides at Sunday’s Cowra Cup meeting with Roly claiming a second on Narromine-based Royal Rival in the maiden sprint.
No Moruya runners took part in that meeting.
Eleven Moruya runners made the trip to Tuesday’s Nowra meeting on a day full of good city stable horses and jockeys, as is now becoming the norm, but we still recorded two great second placings on a very tough day.
John Law’s Four Fortyfour, ridden again by Jessie Whipp, ran a fantastic close second in the opener, a benchmark 50 (2215m) distance event, with Chicka Pearson’s Commanche Rose not far behind in third.
Peter Afflick’s Peekay ran into a very good one in the form of David Vandyke’s Warwick Farm-based Magic In The Mix, which started as $1.30 race favourite.
Peekay was the only horse to break out of the pack to chase the favourite, finishing a clear second in the benchmark 60 sprint, in a very promising run.
After the debut win by Debi-Lee Saton’s Apocketfullofcash at the Sapphire Coast on December 26, the six-year-old mare lined up in the class one (1400m) event.
Of course, Roly was in the saddle again, and he ran a great race to finish a close fifth after being tightened out of the front-running pack about 100m from the finish.
Likewise for Luke Pepper’s new stable acquisition Grand Touch, who had not raced for about a year and was previously trained by Clarry Connors who looked strong in the maiden sprint, finishing just outside the placings and will be improved by the run.
I hope everyone has a great day on Monday.
Until next week, good luck and good punting.