Leading Rosehill trainer Gerald Ryan kicks off the new racing season with three runners at tomorrow’s Scone race meeting and this move could herald the start of more city trainers targeting local races.
Scone Race Club’s chairman Noel Leckie believes it can be traced back to the Wyong meeting that was transferred to Scone last month.
“Most of the city trainers who were going to target specific races at Wyong brought their horses to Scone,” Leckie said.
“They discovered it is an easy trip and that they were racing on a first-class track.
“The increased prize money for country racing is also a factor.
“A lot of city trainers go to tracks such as Goulburn and Bathurst and now they are turning their attention to the Hunter Valley.
“David Payne has been taking horses to Muswellbrook regularly and it won’t be long before we see his horses racing at Scone.”
Payne nominated one horse, Snippets Of Glory, for tomorrow but did not accept, preferring instead to run at Wyong yesterday.
However he is obviously well aware of what Scone has to offer.
Ryan’s apprentice Josh Adams, who finished sixth on the Sydney apprentices’ premiership, will ride all three of Ryan’s runners.
They are the first starter Compacts (Christmas Party Race Day 14th December Maiden), Minello (The Hunted Gourmet Maiden) and La Cloisonne (The Crowded House Café Maiden).
Compacts potentially looks the best of three following her close second to Kristy Lee in a trial at Rosehill on July 17.
Prior to the trial and a spell Kristy Lee had a second at Canterbury and a fifth at Warwick Farm to her credit.
Meanwhile Luke Griffith takes the first step at this meeting to mount another fresh bid for a NSW Country Trainers Premiership with four runners although one of those, Sunday’s Child, is a fourth emergency.
His other runners are Lady Vuvuzela (The Crowded House Café Maiden), top weight Double Halo (Dane Shadow Mk11 Benchmark 65) and We Sing We Dance (Patinack Farm Breeders Bonus Class Three).
Griffith has finished second in the premiership to Coffs Harbour’s Brett Bellamy for the last two seasons and while he took big teams to Quirindi and Dubbo last Sunday and Monday to try and close the gap failed to lead in a winner.
Bellamy finished with 53.5 winners ahead of Griffith on 47, Sue Grills on 46 and Neil Godbolt 45.
Taree trainer Greg Drury will start Taree cup hopeful Peerlact in the Dane Shadow Mk11 Benchmark 65 as possibly his final lead-up to the cup.
Peerlact, a horse that relishes his races being spaced, has not started since winning at Muswellbrook on July 16.
The $60,000 Taree Cup (2000m) will be run on Sunday, August 19.
Drury has decided to run Peerlact at Scone in preference to the Taree Prelude on Monday. Star apprentice Matthew McGuren has the ride tomorrow.