Trainer riding high
By STEPHEN SENISE
THE performance of Murwillumbah gelding Cane Cutter, the winner of the 2006 Murwillumbah Newmarket Prelude and also the Sky Channel Gold Rousillon Handicap in Lismore on Sunday, has confirmed trainer Luna Ivor Mellore as one of the district's best.
Ivor Mellore was presented with the Tweed Valley Owners, Trainers and Connections Association's Trainer's Award at a gala function in Murwillumbah last night.
The newly established awards recognise the achievements of trainers from the Tweed each month.
Association president Stewart Cross said Ivor Mellore was a credit to the industry on the Tweed, especially with her achievement with Cane Cutter.
The gelding, which started at 4-1, won the the 1400-metre Rousillon event comfortably after sitting mid-field for most of the race.
Holding hard along the rail on straightening, former Victorian hoop Kevin Forrester burst to the front with Cane Cutter at the 200-metre mark, going on to score by a length and a quarter to claim the $20,000 prizemoney.
Tweed horses played a major role in the running of the 2006 Rousillon, with the Darren Graham-trained gelding Desert Ransom managing to fly home for second place, with Graham's brother Peter on board, completing a Murwillumbah quinella.
Early leader Epic Sky, ridden by rising apprentice Joshua Jones, was a length away in third place.
Ivor Mellore and Graham have confirmed that Cane Cutter and Dessert Ransom are likely to be nominated for the inaugural Murwillumbah Spring Cup, a Sky Channel Gold Race worth more than $20,000. Nominations for the 1510-metre open handicap close next Tuesday.
The seven-race TAB program will feature total prizemoney of about $57,000.