Today all roads lead to the Moruya Jockey Club for the running of the Soldiers Club Batemans Bay Cup, in what promises to be a fitting finale to the fantastic 2011-2012 season.
They are coming from far and wide for the full TAB eight-event program with almost every race to be run with maximum fields, so we’re in for a highly competitive and colourful day’s racing across a variety of classes and distances to bring the season to an end.
We will all be cheering for our home-track gallopers in every race, except race two which contains none, but they’re in for a tough day being outnumbered on a two-to-one basis by the visitors and there are plenty of well-credentialed gallopers among them.
Final fields, including weights and jockeys, appear on page 33 of today’s edition for your early consideration. Don’t forget that Priors’ dedicated race-day bus services will also be running.
The feature event, race seven, being the Soldiers Club Batemans Bay Cup, is a Benchmark 55 event over 1425m, and has a field of 14 runners.
Pleasingly, eight of them are Moruya runners and I expect they’ll be stretched right across the track as they hit the line.
On a personal note I can’t wait for the running of race five, the Phil Blake’s Track Watch Handicap, a Class one event over 1010m, with a maximum field of 12 to jump.
This will be the fifth running of the race and will also celebrate the 10th anniversary of this column.
I hope I’ll be presenting the winner’s trophy to one of our local trainers, whoever that may be.
Of great interest to all concerned will be the outcome of this season’s premierships, with the trainers’ title going right down to the wire. It may not be settled until the very last race.
A great day of racing awaits us all, with gates at our family-friendly and picturesque track opening at 11am and the first race set to jump at 12.13pm. I hope I’ll see you there.
Now for a look at the past week’s racing where, as usual, there have been plenty of good performances to report regarding our local horses and jockeys on the regional circuit.
Six Moruya runners made the trip to Nowra last Friday and were greeted with a heavy 10 racing surface after a deluge hit the track overnight.
The best results for Moruya runners came from Mike Gatty’s Rushman, who ran the best race of his seven-start career, coming from virtually last at the turn to claim a clear second behind the tearaway leader in the Class one and Maiden Plate over the mile with Roly Saxton aboard.
Also, John Peiti’s Summer Duck Wood keeps on improving with a nose second in the Class three (1400m) event after leading up the straight before being caught on the line in a head bob by Warwick Farm-based Lion Dance.
Roly Saxton rode Aaron Clarke’s Braidwood-based Lethimwin to victory in the Benchmark 54 (2200m) event, mowing down the leader from well back to win by a long neck on the line, paying $30 for the win.
On Saturday, both Joe Azzopardi and Roly rode at the Warren meeting where Roly ended the day with a second and two third placings, and Joe with a third and close fourth on the six-race card.
Peter Afflick’s Peekay, our only runner at Canberra on Sunday, looked the winner 100m from the line in the Benchmark 60 sprint but was relegated to a very brave fourth when three swoopers arrived late in the shadows of the post.
Tim Philips keeps on kicking goals on the Picnic circuit, claiming two wins and a close second from six rides at Cowra Picnics on Friday, where Kevin Cassidy’s Effie Mia finished fourth in the feature Cup race.
Tim backed up at the Wean meeting on Saturday where he claimed two wins and a second from just four rides.
Moruya runners are nominated for the meetings at Wagga on Sunday and at Queanbeyan on Monday so check your guides for acceptances.
I was interested to read reports this week of a class action by more than 500 people about to be launched against the Federal Government for losses incurred over the 2007 equine influenza outbreak, which devastated every corner of the horse industry. More on that as it develops.
It was Roly’s day at Wellington on Tuesday, where he rode two nose-second placings, before scoring a win aboard Das Boss in the Class two sprint, from five rides.
Until next week, good luck and good punting.