A VIOLENT storm delayed the win of Wyong gelding Scatter Blast in the Furphy Spring Cup (1600m) in the final race at Manning Valley Race Club’s Melbourne Cup Day at Taree.
Horses and jockeys were kept safe until the lightning and heavy rain subsided, the storm leaving trees and branches brought down and streams of rain water around the course.
Some patrons delighted in the cool change to dance in the rain, having enjoyed the racing and festivities.
Trainer Damien Lane scratched five-year-old gelding Scatter Blast ($2 to $1.75) from Muswellbrook and was rewarded with a 1.75 lengths win in the Benchmark 58 Handicap.
Port Macquarie jockey Peter Graham was told to be “positive” on Scatter Blast and he summed up the race beautifully to lead, stack the opposition up before the turn, and then put the race beyond doubt to score from Wauchope mare Raining On Sunday ($4.8).
She was only having her second run from a spell for trainer Colt Prosser and could be Woop Woop Cup bound at Wauchope on Boxing Day.
Lane said that Scatter Blast was having its first preparation for him and was very consistent.
“That is his second win for us and he has paid his way.”
With the rail out five metres for the entire course, all races were won by gallopers which led.
Graham’s daughter, apprentice jockey Cejay Graham, had a winning double on five-year-old mare Port Gold ($3.40 to $2.50) in the Cetnaj Benchmark 50 Handicap over 1400m and on She Clangs ($2.40) in the Manning Valley Dental Class 1 Handicap over 1300m.
Taree trainer Michael Byers’ Port Gold had too much class for a three lengths win from Mosgiel Lucy ($5.50), also trained locally by Matthew Robinson.
“She is pretty special when she is on song,” Byers said.
Graham said the lead was the place to be and the mare “was a class above them.”
Byers had contemplated spelling Port Gold if she ran a bad race but is now considering her future racing.
Taree trainer Ross Stitt was chuffed that She Clangs had turned some good placings around with a solid just over a length win.
It was her second win, her first being at Grafton for former Coffs Harbour trainer Gordon Yorke, now retired, she having her sixth run for Stitt.
Stable rep. Geoff Lynan said the mare had a “few issues” and was probably ready for a spell.
Port trainer Lisa Sheppard pulled off a great mentoring effort to win with seven-year-old mare Thurso ($3.30) in the Professionals Forster Maiden Plate over 1300m, it having its first run since August last year.
Kempsey jockey Terry Treichel had a length to spare over Chunky Charger ($4.80), trained at Wauchope by Ronald Broomhall.
“I tried to let the others go but she had too much pace… she put in a good effort after a year off,” Treichel said.
Newcomer to the Port training ranks, Steve Brewer, had his first win at Taree when four-year-old gelding Our Dragon ($3.60) scored by a length for port jockey Robert Agnew in the HMM Accountants Maiden Plate over 1600m.
The former Hawesbury trainer said the win was owed by the gelding which had overcome some serious injury setbacks.
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