Prizemoney increases for the Warrnambool Cup and the Wangoom Handicap are among the highlights in an announcement to be made by the Warrnambool club later this month in relation to its famous May carnival.
Stakes hikes will see the Cup jump from $200,000 to $250,000 while the Wangoom Handicap increases from $150,000 to at least $175,000. And all maiden races on the flat and over the jumps will lift from $25,000 to $35,000.
Warrnambool CEO Peter Downs said prizemoney will now top $2 million for the three-day carnival.
“We’re still finalising things but it’ll be in excess of $2 million on the back of new prizemoney levels announced by the racing industry and the Andrews Government. I would say the Cup will have a $50,000 increase and the Wangoom will jump to $175,000, but it may go to $200,000.
“We’re also hoping the Wangoom could get a status lift from Listed to Group 3. It’s been a great race over the past few years.
Stakemoney for the Grand Annual Steeplechase will remain at $350,000.
Trainer’s other Half ...
New Zealand-bred galloper The Other Half will join his half-brother I’ll’ava’alf at the stables of Warrnambool trainer Patrick Ryan. Both horses will be prepared for the coming jumps season.
I’ll’ava’alf is established as a tough, dour, honest jumper and Ryan is hoping The Other Half will follow in his footsteps.
“He arrives here from New Zealand this week,” the trainer said.
“I think he’s a bit similar to his half-brother in that they both love wet tracks. The Other Half won his maiden hurdle on really heavy ground in New Zealand.
We’ll give him a bit of time to settle into the stable before setting out his program.
The Warrnambool Cup-winning trainer also has John Monash, Bold Bandit, Golden Flag and On Kileys Run in his team for the jumps season.
“My jumping horses are all progressing well,” he said.
Ryan won the Warrnambool Cup with Video Star in 2008.
Beriman baby on the way
Popular Warrnambool jockey Jackie Beriman is missing from the riding ranks because she and her partner Darryl Horner are expecting their first child in July.
Horner said the couple are excited about the situation. “Jackie rode two winners at Penshurst on Boxing Day and followed up with a minor placegetter at Terang on New Year’s Day before she decided to stop riding,” said Horner, who is also a jockey.
“She’s in excellent health. It’s a really wonderful time for both of us. She hasn’t set a date for when she will resume riding but she’ll continue training her horses.”
The couple are planning a November wedding.
Meanwhile, Horner is looking forward to the up-coming jumping season.
“I can’t wait until it starts,” he said. “I’ve got a few nice horses to ride.”
Joker will get better
Jockey Steve Vella scored a maiden victory aboard Admiral’s Joker for wife Kylie at Warrnambool last Sunday — and declared the injury-prone galloper will improve with the run.
“It was a tough win,” he said. “He had no favours after drawing a wide barrier. He’s always shown us plenty of ability but we’ve had numerous issues with him including immaturity and knee and leg problems.”
Ones to follow
Kednelly: Rattled home at the end of 1700 metres for second in the Koroit Cup last Sunday. He’s a promising type who is eligible for easier races and will be hard to beat next start.
Mumbles: Looked a good thing beaten at Warrnambool. Punters who took the short odds must follow up on him next time.