Lachlan Valley shapes up to win

IT is not exactly the Melbourne Cup but there will be excitement aplenty at Murwillumbah racecourse when the judge lets them go in the feature event on today's Melbourne Cup Day program.

The second last of the day, race five is the Melaleuca Station Memorial Gardens Cup, a Benchmark45 handicap over 1510 metres.

With topweight Dowden a likely scratching, another of trainer Danny Bowen's runners, Lachlan Valley, should take up the mantle of favourite.

Bowen recently finished second in the 2009-10 Northern Rivers Racing Association trainers premiership and is cautiously upbeat about his charge's chances.

While Lachlan Valley failed to impress a couple of days ago at Ballina, the five-time winner went close to taking out a very similar event at Bowraville last month after being pipped by less than half a length.

He might not have done much in his three runs since but he is the class runner in the field and he's out of the important number one alley.

Another who went around at Ballina last Saturday is local hope Cooly Road. Trainer Wayne Sutton says his horse is none the worse for wear.

“He's as bright as a button and it could be that he just needed the run,” Sutton told the Tweed Daily News.

“He's pulled up well all right and he's doing fine.”

“Because of the bad weather and not racing for seven weeks, he just wouldn't get on the bit when he finally hit the track at Ballina.”

“It'll be a different story here because he does well at home and he's real keen.”

Cooly Road's record over the 1510m journey at Murwillumbah stands at a win, a second and a third over four starts.

Other chances include another Bowen hope Mainsail and Beaudesert-trained mare Kintyrelyuptoyou.

The day's racing winds up with the sixth of the day, the 2000 metre Off The Top Hair & Beauty open handicap, due at 5pm.

The best bet of the day can be found here with Eye Might going around for his sixth attempt at notching up a Murwillumbah win.

His opposition is not strong and his staying prowess should do the trick this time.

For full Melbourne Cup coverage, see our eight-page feature inside of today's Tweed Daily News. For the latest news on the big race, see page 28.

For Murwillumbah fields, see page 26.

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