Sun shines on track
TWEED River Jockey Club officials couldn't be happier with preparations for the Poinciana - Golden Chain Motel Cup meeting at the Murwillumbah racecourse this afternoon.
After a spate of abandoned meetings in northern NSW due to heavy rainfall and soggy tracks, conditions for today's eight race meeting look ideal for racing with a dry racing surface.
Interest in the meeting was such that organisers and Racing NSW boosted the seven event program up by one to accommodate nominations.
In the day's feature event, the Poinciana Golden Chain Motel Cup over 1510m, the $3 pre post favourite, Cuban Dancer, looks set to give the race a serious shake.
Starting barriers over the distance markedly favour inside runners and Cuban Dancer couldn't have asked for better, drawing the number one alley.
Cuban Dancer seems to like going around at Murwillumbah, having absolutely blitzed his rivals earlier this year.
In February, he scored by a whopping eight lengths with considerably more weight on his back than he will carry around today.
That feat was achieved on a good track. The distance also remains the same, so the omens for a repeat performance are in place.
Top weight, Breaking The Rules, and mare, Rose General, feature on the second line of pre post markets.
Rose General comes into the affair after narrowly going down in a 1260 metre event at Ballina where the company wasn't quite as good.
The six-year-old has been well treated by the handicapper though, which should see her in with a chance.
Breaking The Rules also ran second at Ballina at the same meeting, in a 1610 metre event against some nice types.
Able apprentice, Adam Hyeronimus, claims 1.5km bringing the top weight right into calculations.
A roughy worth watching is Prince Leo. He usually needs a good track to show his best, and he'll have one today.
He has been brought down from Rockhampton and can be expected to be competitive.
Senior rider Chris Whiteley adds an appealing dimension to this five-year-old grey gelding's chances.
Whiteley rode five winners in an afternoon earlier this year at Murwillumbah and is favoured to take out the Murwillumbah jockey's premiership for the 2008/09 season which concludes with today's meeting.
Whiteley is currently three winners clear of a pack of four riders sitting in equal second place.
Three of them, Darron Coleman, Josh Jones and Michael Traecey will be riding at Murwillumbah today.
With clear skies expected and mild weather, TRJC secretary-manager Steve Huggins is hopeful of a good crowd on track to enjoy what promises to be a good day's racing.
“We've had some nice weather over the past few weeks, so we'll be racing with a track rating of good,” Huggins said.
“There's a nice green cover of grass out there at the moment and we're very pleased.”
“We've also had the good fortune of the sponsors from our abandoned Murwillumbah Cup meeting come on board for this meeting, so organisationally we owe them a big 'thanks'.”
The first race of the day is due to start at 12.20 pm.