THERE will be a number of personal battles fought out on the track at the Port Macquarie Race Club today.
Not only are two of Port Macquarie’s premier trainers going head-to-head in the feature race seven Patinack Queen of the North, but two sisters will also duel it out.
You could be forgiven for thinking this was a glamour shoot, but the Schmidt sisters are all business.
They have travelled back to their home town from their Brisbane residence to each claim rides in the big race today, as well as other rides throughout the meet.
And either of them aren’t letting the other get to them.
Cassandra has shown good form recently riding three winners after being suspended earlier in the year.
She is still leading both the NSW Country Apprentice Jockey Challenge and the Northern Rivers Jockey and Apprentice Challenge.
Cassie said she and her sister enjoyed a friendly rivalry.
“We have ridden against each other a few times now,” she said.
“We are in the main race together too, which will be interesting.
“We’re both very competitive girls, when we’re out on the track it’s just business, but it is always good to get a win up over your sister.” Priscilla said she started her jockey career up north but regularly found her way home to grab a ride.
She has managed to make her way back from a number of horrendous injuries after consecutive falls.
The hoop is looking forward to her six rides today, especially going up against her sister in the feature race.
“Yeah we are pretty competitive,” she said.
“Once we are out there on the track, it doesn’t matter if you’re family.
“We’re out there to win, we don’t do each other any favours out there.”
Fortunately for their relationship, Priscilla said the rivalry was put behind them after the race.
“While we’re competitive, we’re both just as happy for the other to get a win if that’s how it pans out.”
In the main event, Cassie will pilot Erinsea for Brett Dodson, and her sister will ride Moneysaver for Gordon York.
Port Macquarie Race Club CEO Michael Bowman is not only looking forward to a good day’s racing but was excited to have the Schmidt girls back in town.
“It’s great they’re coming back for it,” he said. “We’ve seen them develop into the top jockeys they are now.
“It will be interesting to see them go up against each other in the main race.”
He said the Patinack Queen of the North feature race day was behind only the Port Macquarie Cup and New Year’s Day race meets in terms of popularity.
“It’s an interesting field, we always seem to attract decent runners with the $50,000 prize money.”
He said the ones to watch in the big race were top weight and Grant Marshall-trained Komodo Blue and the Alan Scorse-trained Who’s Ready.
Bowman said the best local chance was Neil Godbolt’s runner Al Nova from gate one.
The first race runs at 1.18pm today, and the main event, the Patinack Farm Queen of the North starts at 5pm.
Punters will pay a $10 entry fee for the big meeting.