RACING resumes at Murwillumbah tomorrow for the last of the Tweed River Jockey Club's spring race days.
It has been a busy time at the state's most northern track.
Tomorrow's meeting marks the third time the sound of thundering hooves will be heard in the course of about five weeks, and another, a Christmas twilight is scheduled in three week's time.
One horse who went around at last week's 3000-patron strong Melbourne Cup day meeting, was the ominously named Darth Vader.
He gets to go one better when the judge lets them go in the first of the day, the 1200m Grant Cook Memorial 3YO Plate (1.28pm).
A three-year-old gelding, he only just went down by the barest of margins, last Tuesday. Besides that nice run, Darth Vader is yet to set the world on fire - or any other planets for that matter - but his veteran trainer, Harold Norman, is upbeat about the gelding's potential after only three career starts.
The Bundall-based horseman has been coming down to Murwillumbah for 48 years as either a jockey or a trainer, and told the Tweed Daily News he might know a thing or two about getting a winner up at the little track among the cane fields.
"It's a proper little place, and I love coming along - I've ridden and trained a few winners here over the years,” Norman said.
"Darth Vader will go good, and he's well bred - Lonhro, out of a good mare (Murray Mary, NZ).
"He'll make the grade 'cause he's a gutsy little bloke, a tough little fellow - he's only young and there's plenty of time for him to make an even better four year old.
"It was a nice run last time and he's out to 1200 metres here - the only thing is, that he's drawn wide so he'll have to get across in a hurry, but I think he'll race good,” Norman said.
Darth Vader won't be getting it all his own way. Prolific trainer of winners, Murwillumbah-based Matt Dunn, prepares two chances in the race.
Spanish Hurricane is a first-time starter, while Proposal has been knocking at the door at his most recent runs in Victoria.
The early market favourite in a wide open field, is Savvy Rock. Another first-time starter, he impressed when finishing runner-up at an official barrier trial at the Gold Coast last month.
The day's two feature races are the last two of the day, race 7, the 1530m Laser Plumbing Benchmark 60 handicap (4.58pm) and race 8, the 1200m Courthouse Hotel Cup (5.35pm). Gates open at 12 noon.
The holiday time, 'summer series' of racing at Murwillumbah will be in its third incarnation this year and comprise three meetings: 8 December (twilight), January 2 and January 7.
For group or party bookings please contact TRJC secretary-manager Leanne Moore on 02 6672 3672.