Mur’bah track in good condition for meeting

Tweed River Jockey Club secretary-manager Rachael Elliot said the track was holding up well after rain. Photo: Contributed
Tweed River Jockey Club secretary-manager Rachael Elliot said the track was holding up well after rain. Photo: Contributed Contributed

ANOTHER instalment of summer racing awaits thoroughbred racing fans at Murwillumbah Sunday.

Tweed River Jockey Club secretary-manager Rachael Elliot told My Daily News the club was all set to host the Northern Rivers Racing Association's last meeting of 2012.

"The track's held up very well for its second meeting in just over a fortnight and is looking tremendous," Ms Elliot said.

"We've had about 50mms of rain over the past week which has taken the sting out of the ground but being summer and all, the racing surface has handled that well and is currently a slow 6.

"We had a bit of a breeze pick up a few days ago which has helped too.

"If the sun keeps shining, I wouldn't be surprised with a drier rating by the time the judge lets them go in the first on Sunday.

The first race in the seven event TAB card is a two-year-old country plate set down for 1.55pm, with the day's feature Dunloe Sands Pottsville Benchmark 60 handicap, race six, due at 5.00pm.

Elliott predicts the afternoon's main attention will be focused on this race as one of two Benchmark 60 handicaps.

Conducted over 2020m, the event will be a real stayer's affair with several hopefuls proven at the distance. Topweight and one of the favourites, Leica Bita Lippy was sired by a 1995 Melbourne Cup runner-up in Nothin' Leica Dane.

Being able to get over a bit of ground as well as running second must be in the blood, because Leica Bita Lippy has a string of silver medals to her name, six in fact, from thirteen career starts.

Her last three runs have been in town at Eagle Farm and Doomben, the best of which resulted in duplicating her sire's Melbourne Cup effort - a hard fought second place.

Her Murwillumbah based trainer Carolyn Halliday told My Daily News last month that she was pleased with the determination on display on that occasion.

The mare will be partnered by in-form apprentice Sam Payne who was in the saddle at the mare's most recent win at Ballina last month.

He is no stranger to Murwillumbah where he rides track work and Leica Bita Lippy is one of his regular morning mounts.

He recently rode a winning treble at the TRJC's Melbourne Cup day meeting, and claims 3kg tomorrow.

Other notable runners include the Trevor Whittington prepared Oriental Grace (2 wins at 1800m), and Non Dimenticar who recently hit a purple patch with three wins on the trot before finishing out of the placings at her last run.

Local trainer Matt Dunn currently leads the Murwillumbah trainers' premiership and will be fielding runners in four of tomorrow's events including Pack The Bags in the feature.

Queensland based apprentice rider Beau Appo leads the jockeys' ladder, and currently has four mounts booked.

Gates open at 11.30am.

Topics:  horse racing

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