Leica Bita Lippy ready to debut
MURWILLUMBAH trained filly Leica Bita Lippy will be giving her rivals more than a bit of lip when she lines up in Monday's feature Victory Ford Cup.
A clean pair of heels is also on the cards when the three-year-old daughter of Nothin' Leica Dane steps out for her first run on home turf.
Trainer Carolyn Halliday told My Daily News the filly has been working nicely since dead heating to win at Casino a fortnight ago on a bog track.
"She's been doing very well, and she should handle the local track okay given she's done so well at both Casino and Ballina," Halliday said.
"She's bred to go over some ground so the step up to 1400m shouldn't be a problem.
"Given the state of the track at the moment, it's a case of the wetter the better 'cause she just loves the wet and she's a natural front runner.
"With the number one gate, she should go straight out and lead."
Halliday said her good opinion of Leica Bita Lippy was confirmed at the filly's first run when she won by nearly six lengths on a heavy track in a field of thirteen at Grafton. Together with her last-start Casino victory, and a second again at Grafton, she comes into Monday's cup race with an impressive, if short, resume spanning five career runs.
Her dad Nothin' Leica Dane was no stranger to cup racing.
As a three year old, he ran second to Doriemus in the 1995 Melbourne Cup in rain-affected going, and as a four year old finished second to Linesman in the Sydney Cup, again over 3200 m
While Monday's race will be a much more placid affair, a Class 3 handicap over 1400m, Leica Bita Lippy's breeding, home track advantage and good recent form all point to a forward showing against some honest older horses.
Among the best of them is topweight Jigsaws, a four-year-old gelding who has already won twice at the distance and has some nice form on rain-affected going.
Six-year-old mare Punto Vista is another who can handle the wet, and like the top weight can boast a win in the past two months. Both will appreciate the 1400m trip.
Jockey club officials remain upbeat about the state of the track, and more confident of the meeting going ahead than earlier in the week. The racing surface is still recovering from a 122mm deluge over the weekend and intermittent bouts of light rain during the course of the week.
Club chairman Bernie Quinn told My Daily News he was hopeful the meeting would proceed as scheduled as long as the weather played its part.
"It's up to Mother Nature at the moment, but we're in a much better position than we were even just a few days ago." Mr Quinn said.
"We dare to hope, but really, it's a case of eyes to the skies."
The track is currently rated a Heavy 10.
Monday's first race is due to get under way 12.41pm, with gates opening at 11.30am.