Anzac Day huge success

Diggers Cup winning part-owner Rick Edwards, trainer Barry Ratcliff & wife Lesley with Race Club Chairman Jarrod Lipscombe and Kempsey Macleay RSL Club president Paul McGregor Photo: Macleay Argus
Locallay trained four-year-old gelding Butane won the Kempsey Macleay RSL Club Diggers Cup Photo: Macleay Argus

BARRY ‘Redback’ Ratcliff earned an Anzac Day double at Warwick Park yesterday, with his horse Butane romping home in the feature race by a length and a quarter.
The Kempsey trainer watched jockey Pietro Romeo bring home the Diggers Cup on the four-year-old gelding, at the Kempsey-Macleay RSL Club-sponsored five-race meeting.
Earlier, Yet Another Time opened Redback’s account with a win in the first race.
But it was the impressive showing in the 1900m feature race that touched Ratcliff’s heart on a memorable day.
“It was a very very very good race,” he said.
“He’s turned out to be a real champion horse.
“The Diggers Cup is especially great because it’s on Anzac Day, and my grandfather and great grandfather were war heroes.
“Part-owner Rick Edwards is an American ,who also fought in Vietnam so this is a great win on such a significant day.”
And Edwards was happy with Butane’s race.
“I’m just thrilled to death,” he said, “but, to be honest I was pretty confident he was going to win it.”
Wind of Dubai, ridden by Raymond Spokes, trained by Trevor Hardy, of Coffs Harbour was second.
Wannabe, from the Wauchope stable of trainer Bob Graham, ridden by Robert Agnew came home in third.
Yet Another Time’s win in the Macleay Valley Pest Control Maiden Plate allowed that race’s sponsor to recoup part of the $6000 prize money the trainer had put up.
Butane doubled Ratcliff’s cut of the prize money, with his two horses earning a total of $6800 for their wins.
In the second race, Wauchope trainer Colt Prosser’s horse Shotgun Wille – ridden by Peter Graham – took the honours in the West Kempsey General Store Maiden Plate, over 1450m.
Volcanic Trader won the third race, the Kempsey Fast Foods Class 1 Handicap.
It was ridden by up-and-coming apprentice Gabrielle Coleman, and is trained by Port Macquarie’s John Sprague.
Kempsey Race Club president Jarrod Lipscombe was delighted with the turnout for the Anzac Day meeting.
“The crowd was excellent, the event was very well supported,” he said.
“I was particularly glad to see so many of our local veterans comng up to the racecourse, proudly wearing their medals.
“That was very fitting.”
The meeting was the first of a trifecta over the coming weeks, with two further events in May.
Lipscombe was delighted also to confirm that this year’s Steve Keir Memorial Cup meeting would take place on Saturday, August 10.
“We’re extremely happy to host that meeting, it’ll allow us to attract a big crowd,” he said.