Murwillumbah Christmas Cup rearing to go

Local track knowledge could prove crucial in the feature 1530m XXXX Gold Christmas Cup, the opener in tomorrow's twilight meeting at Murwillumbah. Pre-post markets suggest it will be a hard fought affair with six of the eight-horse field quoted at $7.00 or less.

When it comes to the little track among the cane fields, a tight turn and short straight combine to add weight to the adage about horses for courses. Being prepared on-track, Curfew and Full Blast should be at an advantage.

The duo are trained by 2013-14 Northern Rivers Racing Association premiership winning horseman Matt Dunn, with Curfew in the top line of early betting. Adding to his appeal, the five year old by Testa Rossa, wasn't beaten far when finishing runner-up at his second last start at the Gold Coast.  

$3.60 overnight favourite and topweight Power Reciever has been racing well this campaign and finished second at his only Murwillumbah start. He was a handy placegetter at his latest run at Lismore after winning there a few runs previously. In between those outings, the six year old gelding put in a solid effort at Doomben against some nice types to finish three lengths off the winner and among the top half of the field in a race carrying $65,000 in prizemoney.

Another fancied runner is Regalmania who won here at the distance on Melbourne Cup day. It was his only attempt negotiating the local track and though he did it easily, the quality of his competitors on that occasion was only average. Tomorrow's field will be a step up, but in-form jockey Laura Cheshire who scored a winning treble on Melbourne Cup day retains the ride.

No Win No Wine out of the number one gate, and Casino Bride who ran second here last campaign on a dead track, are also in with a shot.

The storms which hit the Tweed on Tuesday deposited 66 mms over the racing surface, nudging the track rating into the Soft scale under the new system. Weather forecasts are for patchy conditions, which will ensure runners who enjoy the sting out of the ground will not be disappointed.

The first of the day is due at 2.27pm with the last event in the eight race program scheduled for 6.55pm. Gates open at 12 noon.

Patrons young and old will be entertained with live music and activities, including jumping castle with Aussie Bouncin' Bites, and Jason Kafoa The Black Pearl who will be performing after the last race until 10.00 pm.

Murwillumbah's summer of racing continues with meetings on 28 December and a specially themed family fun day on 4 January.<<<



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