Local trainers score a double

Not ready: Gabrielle Coleman has trouble with a feisty Azzerato before the start of race one. Coleman recovered to ride two winners

AFTER a lengthy period of R and R (renovation and resting) Warwick Park Racecourse has returned to racing.

To celebrate the occasion the Kempsey Race Club hosted a community meeting featuring five races.

It was pleasing that a large number of enthusiastic and vocal racegoers supported the meeting.

In keenly contested events local trainers Julie Lynch and Barry Ratcliff each led in a double while 2kg claiming apprentice Gabrielle Coleman and Robert Agnew rode two winners each.

A Class 1 handicap over 1450m proved to be a happy event for the Hodge family of Port Macquarie.

Trainer Glen Hodge shares with his two daughters ownership of the winner Moorefield ($6).

The Immoveable Option (IRE) gelding gave Adam Nicholls an easy ride throughout and was well positioned to gain a winning break as the field straightened.

Mal’s Dream ($4.2) made ground to snatch second, while perpetual placegetter Prince Christian ($3.6) collected his 15th minor prize cheque by finishing third.

Moorefield was purchased in Queensland by Hodge as a possible show horse for his granddaughter.

Eventually because he was sensible and kind natured she used him as her mount in barrier trials on her way to obtaining a race riding licence.

After winning a couple of trials the family thought the horse was worth giving a chance to win ‘real races’. He has built up a record of two wins and four minor placigs at this stage.

The team of local trainer Barry Ratcliff and ridrer Robert Agnew struck early by winning the next two races.

Victory in a 1000m maiden came courtesy of Azatorah ($3.6). The three-year-old Bradbury’s Luck filly stuck to her task determinedly down the straight to edge out the Julie Hodder trained Rosebrook Lane ($4.2) by a neck.

Record Breaker ($4.2) was a distant third.

Azatorah is one of several buys made by Ratcliff from the Magic Millions sale. He retained part ownership of the filly with the other share being held by Dr Harry Johnston.

Team Ratcliff and Agnew scored their second win in the 1250m Maiden Plate.

Three-year-old Butane ($3.4), by Primus, was bought from the Magic Millions sale and retained by Ratcliff to race in shares with his wife Lesley.

The gelding gained a good break in the straight and held on to defeat favourite Yelard ($2.8) by half a length with French Thunder ($7) claiming third place.

The 1250m benchmark 45 handicap proved a breeze for top weight Canadian Chef ($4.6).

Apprentice Gabrielle Coleman steered him home to a margin of three lengths plus at the post.

Julie Lynch trains the sevenyear- old Canadian Silver (CAN) gelding at Warwick Park for herself, husband Peter and Neal Kyle. Up until recently he has raced in Queensland.

Ourever ($6) and 10-year-old Nera ($3.6) respectively filled the minor places.

The trainer-rider team of Lynch and Coleman were quick to claim a second victory.

The following race – a 1000m benchmark 50 – was won by Lions Den ($4) who fought out a stirring finish with the Julie Hodder trained Batizta ($3.5) making it a Warwick park quinella.

Shrewd Target (3.4) was not far away in third place.

Trainer Julie Lynch shares ownership of the eight-year old Lion Cavern (USA) gelding with her husband Peter.

Owners, trainers and locals are reminded it is only in a little over three weeks until the Kempsey Race Club’s gala Kempsey Cup Day.

Intensive work has been carried out on the course and surround, much by a band of willing local volunteers.

Both the racing surface and public facilities are in good shape.

Keep Friday, November 11 free for a day at the cup – you will have a wonderful time while supporting your local club and country racing as a whole.

A half-day public holiday has been gazzetted for the Kempsey Cup.

Article courtesy The Macleay Argus