A winning hat-trick and two wins celebrated by a big contingent of Kendall district owners and followers supported the adage “winners are grinners” before a happy crowd at Taree on Sunday.
Three wins from three starts for mare Eyebea Danser was notched by local trainer Michael Byers and fellow trainer Wayne Wilkes, a resident of Kendall, provided wins with resuming Bellastar and gelding Subtle Grey, having its first run since November 3 and being prepared for the $150,000 Qualifier for the Country Championships at Port Macquarie this Sunday.
About 30 owners and supporters, some first-time owners, others holding babies with children by their side, certainly put excitement into the win of their three-year-old filly Bellastar, having only its third start, which scored by nearly two lengths in the Gloucester Cup Maiden Handicap over 1000m.
They then joined in celebrations after five-year-old Subtle Grey, owned by Kendall resident Les Tinkler, of Serene Lodge, had a length to spare on the line in the Wingham Exports Class 2 Handicap over 1300m.
The Mid North Coast’s leading jockey, Andrew Gibbons, from Newcastle, said: “A lot of happy people…great” after he rode Bellastar to victory.
The filly was bought as a weanling and a lot of care and attention has been expended by Wilkes and the vast cast of owners to have her ready to win when resuming and she didn’t let them down.
“She had a couple of jump outs and has returned bigger and stronger,” Wilkes said.
Gibbons said that although the filly sat three-wide, then wanted to stargaze when in front, she eventually “put her mind on the job”.
Apprentice jockey Louise Day was amazed at the “top cruising speed” of Subtle Grey.
She said Wilkes was right in saying that the gelding was no good in being held up in races.
Wilkes said Subtle Grey’s nose second at Newcastle before a spell showed he was up to the class and deserved being nominated for the Qualifier.
Byers and jockey Robert Thompson were full of praise for Eyebea Danser making it three wins on end by just under a length in the TAB.Com.Au Benchmark 66 Handicap over 1250m.
Byers said: “She is getting better and better…she has a new lease of life.
“She really wants to win.
“She is better when kept fresh and she will now tackle a race at Coffs Harbour or try a Sydney race,” he said.
Mid North Coast trainers had a good meeting – Port trainer Neil Godbolt and jockey Mollie Partridge combining for a head win by five-year-old gelding Outsmartem from Taree mare Lobban Hood, trained by Robert Barnes, in the Benchmark 58 Handicap over 1000m.
“In recent runs he hasn’t been helped by wide barriers and he has a habit of whacking the corner of his joints,” the trainer said.
Partridge added: “At the corner I said I am going to win this.”
An outside barrier didn’t hinder Kempsey seven-year-old gelding Rogue Missile, trained by Daniel and Rocky Simonetta and ridden by Matthew Paget, from scoring by a neck in the Hannam Vale Cup Benchmark 58 Handicap over 1600m.
Other winners were Equiseta ($2.35), trained at Wyong by Kim Waugh and ridden by Chad Lever, in the Saxbys Soft Drinks Maiden Plate over 1400m and Kristensen, trained at Gosford by Nick Mitchell and ridden by Ben Looker, in the Ronald McDonald House—Donate Now Maiden Handicap over 1250m.
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