NSW country: Rock'n'roller Tanglewood still too good
By Tim Egan, May 13, 2024 - 5:26 PM

Muswellbrook gelding Tanglewood “tried hard” to throw away last Saturday’s Class 3 TAB Highway Handicap (1200m) at Newcastle but looks to have a bright future after recording his third win from his past five starts.
The Todd Howlett-trained four-year-old had put the writing on the wall with a first-up second in the same class at Rosehill a fortnight earlier, but had never struck a heavy track before and drifted from $2.50 to start a $4.20 favourite.
After being cluttered up between runners, jockey Josh Parr was able to get his mount into open space just inside the final 250 metres. 
Once clear he set out after Ramones, who’d attempted to lead all the way. Despite laying in over the concluding stages, Tanglewood was able to reel Ramones in to win by a short neck with Zarnadee’s Lane a long neck further away in third place. 
“He tried hard to throw it away in the last 100 metres and I had to get pretty desperate on him there late but he was perfectly prepared today and got the job done,” Parr said. 
“He actually rocks and rolls a bit when you let him go, especially on ground that’s giving like it is. It was a shock to his system but I am glad he got the victory.”
The win took Tanglewoods record to three wins and two placings from his seven starts. Following the win, trainer Howlett said the winner was likely to have his next start in another Highway. 
“I definitely think he has a future. He’s lightly raced and has done a good job. I think he’ll get 1400 metres. I think there’s another Highway for him in a couple of weeks but it all depends on how he comes through this because this would be pretty tough on them today,” said Howlett. 
Rav revels in wet
In the final race on the Newcastle program, the 1200-metre benchmark 78, Tuncurry galloper Sir Ravanelli ($10) relished the heavy conditions, coming from last place approaching the turn to charge down the centre of the track and hit the front just before the post. 
Starman, who also finished the race off strongly, finished second, beaten a long neck, while favourite Cruel Sea was three-quarters of a length away in third place. 
Sir Ravanelli, who is trained by Terry Evans and was ridden by Darryl McLellan, has now recorded four wins and three seconds from eight starts on heavy tracks. 
Based on Saturday’s effort the six-year-old looks likely to have a productive winter campaign.  
Moppett show
Punters were on the ball the previous day at Albury, where the 1000-metre Albury Sprint Classic went to the Ross Purcell-trained $4 favourite Mr Moppett, ridden by Nick Heywood. 
The six-year-old scored by a length and three-quarters from Nipotimo, with Vella Magic a neck away in third place. 
Local trainer Donna Scott led in a winning double, both ridden by promising apprentice Amy O’Driscoll, who currently claims four kilos. 
At Tamworth the same afternoon, Aaron Bullock rode a treble, while Scone-based Stephen Jones led in the last three winners.  Ashley Morgan rode a double.
Boy in cup cruise
At Mudgee on Sunday, the 1400-metre Gooree Cup went to $2.45 favourite Elson Boy, trained at Dubbo by Dar Lunn and ridden by apprentice Chelsea Hillier.
Elson Boy romped away to a 3¾-length win over Nitride with Red Beryl in third place. 
The punters’ pick also got the money in the Queanbeyan feature that day, with $1.45 favourite Astunner taking the South Coast Cup for Canberra’s Gratz Vella. Damon Budler was the winning rider while Crystal Waters and Ulysses Blue filled the minor placings.
Scone looks a cracker
Heavy rains across the state continued to play havoc with racing last week as meetings at Gunnedah, Taree, Goulburn, Grafton, Kembla Grange, Tuncurry and Quambone were abandoned or postponed, with Gosford’s feature meeting transferred to Newcastle. 
Thankfully this weekend’s forecast is brighter, with meetings scheduled for Scone and Canberra Friday, Scone, Kembla Grange, Brewarrina, Cootamundra and Wauchope Saturday, Parkes and Queanbeyan Sunday.
Scone’s Friday meeting features the $200,000 Scone Cup (1600m), a qualifier for the Big Dance at Randwick on Melbourne Cup day. 
The main supporting races are the $200,000 Inglis 2YO Challenge (1100m), the $90,000 Country Cup (1400m) and the $50,000 Maiden Plate (1300m). 
Saturday’s card should yield a marvellous day of racing, weather permitting, with the menu incuding the $250,000 Group 3 Dark Jewel Classic (1400m) for fillies and mares,  the $200,000 listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m), the $200,000 listed Ortensia Stakes (1100m), the $200,000 listed Denise’s Joy Stakes (1100m) for three-year-old fillies and the $200,000 listed Woodlands Stakes (1100m) for two-year-old fillies.
“The two-day Darley Scone Cup carnival is the jewel in the crown of country racing in NSW,” said Scone Race Club CEO Jason Hill. 
“We’ve received tremendous support over the years from the industry, our partners, members and the local community. We hope to do that support justice by putting on a fantastic carnival for our local supporters and for those visiting us from further afield,”  
Saturday is cup day at Brewarrinaand Parkes, with the features over 1200 and 1600 metres respectively.
Mick will be missed
The racing community at Kembla Grange and beyond is mourning trainer Michael (Mick) Tubman after his death last week at the age of 76. 
In a long and distinguished career, Tubman is perhaps best remembered for his achievements with the two-year-old Chance Bye. 
Tubman bought Chance Bye at a William Inglis yearling sale in 2009 for $15,000. 
He then prepared the filly for a hat-trick of wins in the $250,000 Inglis Nursery at Randwick, the $251,000 Inglis Classic at Rosehill and the $203,000 Silver Slipper at Rosehill.  She retired with $542,950 in earnings from nine starts.
In each of the three wins the two-year-old was ridden by Kathy O’Hara. 
“Rest in peace Michael Tubman — a great man and a great trainer. You’ll always hold a special place in my heart. X,” wrote O’Hara in paying tribute to Tubman.    


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