Any of 12 horses a real contender for M'bah purse.
Any of 12 horses a real contender for M'bah purse.

Saddle up for a thriller

RACING: A rain-affected track and a strong field of 12 horses means punters are guaranteed a thriller in the feature race at Murwillumbah tomorrow.

Just about any of the 12 is a real chance to take home the $6300 winner’s purse in Race 6, the 1516m Benchmark 60 Tweed Tourism Cup.

The race could provide the setting for recent Murwillumbah winner Diamondsaucash to double up on his local success.

But the rain has also brought a number of well-performing seven-year-olds into the picture, most notably mare Rose General and gelding Mardi Magrar.

Both are winners on soft tracks and have been racing well.

Rose General won her last start at Ballina in a Benchmark 55 handicap over 1310m, while Mardi Magrar has been thereabouts in his four runs since returning from a spell at Eagle Farm in early November.

Another contender happy with a bit of give in the ground is Ballina-trained gelding Kaybee.

A recent Murwillumbah winner, the six-year-old is lightly raced and moving up through the grades impressively. Able apprentice Emily Kehoe claims 1.5kg, and a forward showing can be expected.

Bill Trimble, who trains the four-year-old Diamondsaucash at Ipswich, told The Daily News earlier in the week how pleased he was with the gelding. But a soft track might take the sparkle out of Trimble’s eye, with his charge having had three starts on rain-affected going, and failed to register so much as a place on any occasion.

In the other races of the seven-event TAB meeting, Handsome Dane looks like the day’s best bet in Race 5, the Kingscliff Chamber of Commerce Benchmark 55 handicap over 2000m.

Handsome Dane has finished 1.5 lengths from the winner at two of his three starts since returning from a spell and is placed over the journey. A previous winner in the wet, he also has the Josh Jones-John Shelton rider-trainer combination working in his favour.

Tweed River Jockey Club officials are counting on more than just competitive racing action tomorrow, with a good-sized holiday crowd expected.

“Sponsors Tweed Tourism have done a great job promoting the event to holidaymakers, and we’re all set to provide them with some top-notch country racing,” said TRJC secretary-manager Steve Huggins.

“We’ve had some good rain since Christmas Eve, and the track is looking very green and healthy. At the moment the track’s rated slow.”

The first event of the day is a maiden event due to get under way at 1.50pm (NSW).




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