A racing season frustrated by Covid-19 disruptions failed to dampen the excitement for connections of Charmmebaby as the mare was announced as the Mid North Coast Racing Association Horse of the Year for 2021.
The acquisition from the stable of Tara and Phillippe Vigouroux to the Milligan family midway through last year proved to be a good move as the daughter of Charm Spirit amassed four wins and a similar number of placings from fourteen starts.
The mare started the season well with a dominant victory over Neptune's Wink at Kempsey in September before accounting for Eurogem at Port Macquarie three weeks later.
Success in a Tab Highway at Rosehill followed a couple of months later before Charmmebaby had the honour of representing the association in the Newhaven Park Country Championship Final at Randwick in the autumn after scoring in the heat at Scone.
Heavy rain caused the qualifier to be transferred from Taree, but the move failed to dampen her form with a comprehensive win over Subtle Grey by around four lengths propelling her into the prestigious final.
After settling well back in the initial stages of the pinnacle event at Randwick, Charmmebaby made up an enormous amount of ground over the concluding stages to run the ultimate winner, Art Cadeaux, to around two lengths and increase her prizemoney tally by around $50,000.
The great form has continued into the new racing season with recent wins in the Jungle Juice Cup at Newcastle followed by an exciting victory over Battle Guardian in the Taree Cup a fortnight ago providing strong claims for a second title consideration.
The journey has been a wonderful experience for the Milligan's as ownership is spread throughout the family and close friends with father-son combination of Bob and Glen providing the training expertise.
Association delegates also noted the achievements of the Allan Denham trained gelding, Elusive Eagle, with the son of Sidestep racing in the Mid North Coast Association on five occasions for four wins and a second.
In a period of four months, Elusive Eagle progressed through his grades with victories all at the Port Macquarie track culminating in a Class four preview race when accounting for Bellastar and Texas Storm by just over a length.
The leading trainer for the district was Kris Lees with the prominent Novocastrian posting thirty-nine wins for the season while his stable apprentice, Dylan Gibbons, enjoyed a stellar racing year with forty-three victories.
The Port Macquarie Race Club commence their Summer Racing Carnival with the New Year's Day Cup highlighting the program on January 1 while all roads lead to the circuit for the $65,000 Queen of the North for fillies and mares on Friday, January 21.
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