Sport

Murwillumbah track holds up

LOOKING GOOD: Tweed River Jockey Club secretary-manager Rachael Elliot is looking forward to a successful race meeting at Murwillumbah tomorrow.
LOOKING GOOD: Tweed River Jockey Club secretary-manager Rachael Elliot is looking forward to a successful race meeting at Murwillumbah tomorrow.

TWEED River Jockey Club secretary-manager Rachael Elliot says her club is set to host the Northern Rivers Racing Association's last meeting of 2012.

A seven-race TAB card has been assembled for the meeting at Murwillumbah tomorrow.

With $105,000 up for grabs and some useful runners lining up, Elliot is hopeful of an entertaining day of action.

"The track's held up well for its second meeting in just over a fortnight and it looks tremendous," she said.

"We've had about 50mm 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 now a slow 6."

The first race is a two-year-old country plate set down for 1.55pm, with the day's feature Dunloe Sands Pottsville Benchmark 60 Handicap, the sixth race, due at 5pm.

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

Conducted over 2020m, the event will be a real stayers' affair with several hopefuls proven at the distance.

The topweight and one of the favourites, Leica Bita Lippy, was sired by the 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 second placings to her name - six from 13 career starts.

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

The mare will be ridden 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 also recently rode a winning treble at the Melbourne Cup day meeting at Murwillumbah and claims 3kg tomorrow.

Other notable runners include the Trevor Whittington prepared Oriental Grace (two wins at 1800m), and Non Dimenticar, which 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 leads the Murwillumbah trainers' premiership and will be fielding runners in four of the races tomorrow including Pack The Bags in the feature.

Queensland apprentice rider Beau Appo leads the jockeys' ladder and has four rides booked.

Racing starts at 1.55pm, with gates open at 11.30am.



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