Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn claimed his 14th win in a TAB Highway Handicap at Randwick last Saturday, making him the most successful trainer of the series.
Runway Ready scored convincingly for Dunn. Jockey Tye Angland settled the four-year-old mare in third place and enjoyed a good run in transit before ranging up to challenge the leader, Awesome Pluck, 200 metres out and going on to score by two-and-a-half lengths.
Dunn’s wife and stable representative Keira said Runway Ready may now be set for the Country Championships.
The big disappointment in the race was Awesome Pluck, who, after being backed as if unbeatable into $1.65, weakened out and finished fifth.
Dubbo-based jockey Greg Ryan added to his impressive record at Tamworth on Friday, booting home four winners on the seven-race program.
Just as impressive as Ryan’s performance was the win of the Cameron Crockett-trained galloper Ori On Fire.
Resuming from a spell, the four-year-old, ridden by Andrew Gibbons, was dominant in recording a four-and-a-half length victory over 1000 metres.
Kim in hot form
Wyong trainer Kim Waugh’s recent run of success continued at her home track last Saturday, when the four-year-old gelding Mo The Great (ridden by Andrew Gibbons) scored comfortably in Class 2 company over 1600 metres.
Waugh has saddled six winners from her past 10 runners.
In the last race on the Wyong program the Godolphin three-year-old Soothing, ridden by Jeff Penza, looked good in racing away from her rivals and she should win again soon.
Chad bounces back
Jockey Chad Lever was back in the winners circle at Wyong, after recovering from injuries suffered in a fall in August which left him with a small bleed from the brain, facial fractures, a bad cut over one eye and a fractured thumb.
The former South Australian rider piloted odds-on favourite Auerbach to victory in the 1600-metre maiden for trainer Chris Waller.
At Gilgandra on Sunday that man Greg Ryan continued on his winning way when he chalked up his 10th Gilgandra Cup win, steering favourite Artistic Beauty home for trainer Cameron Crockett.
Ryan settled the mare off the pace before moving up quickly to challenge on the turn. The result then was never in doubt with the five-year-old dashing clear to win by two lengths, easing down.
Country first for Scorse
Apprentice Patrick Scorse recorded his first country cup win on Monday when he guided well-backed favourite Almost Court to an all-the-way win in the 1425-metre Narooma Cup, at Moruya.
Despite running a little erratically in the straight, the five-year-old had too much class for his rivals.
It was the Barbara Joseph/Paul Jones-trained gelding’s fifth win from 11 starts and he will now be aimed at the Bega Cup.
Sharon’s passion grows
“I love country racing so much,” said Sharon Lenton when I spoke with her last week.
“The people behind the scenes give so generously and most of them are volunteers. You can sense that feeling of pride at each club the minute you step onto their home track.”
Lenton first became involved in country racing back in the 1990s when a boyfriend took her to a meeting. She was immediately taken by the pride the women took in their appearance and in the Fashion on the Fields competitions.
It wasn’t long before she was competing in these competitions herself, winning several before accepting an offer to become a judge. Then in 2001, she decided she could do more to contribute to country race clubs and began hosting Fashions on the Field at places such as Scone, Muswellbrook, Gosford, Tamworth, Goulburn, Ballina, Wellington, Lismore, Newcastle, Dubbo, Warren and Coffs Harbour.
“Fashions on the Field are such an important part of the day for ladies who put so much effort into their race day look,” she said.
In 2009, Lenton expanded her range of services and set up Thoroughbred Events Australia with the aim of promoting women in the racing industry as well as providing a platform for up-and-coming milliners in NSW.
She organized glamorous ladies luncheons at which milliners from the east coast would showcase their latest creations.
She would have prominent women in the racing industry as guest speakers, telling of their experiences in the industry.
“One lady, whose job it once was to prepare stallions for mating, gave a hilarious talk about her experiences,” said Lenton.
Lenton offers her race club clients far more than just Fashions on the Field and glamorous luncheons; she involves herself in both pre-race and post-race promotions and sources sponsorships for big race days.
At one country club, for example, she increased their sponsorship from $7,000 to $20,000.
If you think Sharon can help your club, she can be contacted on 0401 290 666.