Lismore Cup winner saddles up

SEPTEMBER’S winner of the $60,000 Lismore Cup, Hecentadove, looks bound for the $16,000 Murwillumbah Cup at the end of the month.

Last week Hecentadove, which is trained by John Everson at Ballina, won a 2000 metre open handicap at Murwillumbah’s gala Melbourne Cup Day meeting in convincing fashion. It was the five-year-old’s first start at the track.

One of Hecentadove’s connections said that the idea of running him at the picturesque Tygalgah track was to give the gelding a chance to familiarise himself with racing at Murwillumbah ahead of the Monday, November 23 Cup race.

“We decided a little while ago that we’d give him a run in the Murwillumbah Cup, and this seemed like the right way to go,” the connection said.

“He’s coming to the end of his current campaign now, and a run in the Murwillumbah Cup will do him nicely.

“His win last week might result in the handicapper giving him a bit more to carry, but he was always going to be carrying a bit of weight after his Lismore Cup win.

“He’s such a nice horse we’d be happy enough putting the right apprentice on board, so he shouldn’t end up carrying too big a weight.”

Ballina based Japanese apprentice Motoki Okada rode Hecentadove to his Murwillumbah win, and is held in high esteem by the Everson stable, which makes it likely he will retain the ride.

The Tweed River Jockey Club recently announced that a reconstituted Murwillumbah Cup Day program would be incorporated into the club’s November 23 meeting.

The running of the Murwillumbah Cup was originally set down for June, but had to be rescheduled after heavy rain during autumn and winter forced the meeting to be called off.

Ballina will host a 1900 metre event on Friday which will exempt the winner from the ballot for the 2000 metre Murwillumbah Cup.

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