Look back at au­tumn

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - SPORT - Ray Thomas

RAC­ING NSW and the Aus­tralian Turf Club are con­duct­ing a re­view of the 2015 au­tumn car­ni­val in­clud­ing The Cham­pi­onships to iden­tify ar­eas that need im­prove­ment.

With Easter fall­ing early next year – Easter Satur­day is March 26 – it is likely there will be some mi­nor pro­gram­ming changes to the popular Syd­ney au­tumn car­ni­val.

The clashes of the Royal Rand­wick Guineas with Flem­ing­ton’s Aus­tralian Guineas, both 1600m three­year-old Group 1 races, needs to be ad­dressed, along with the Ranvet Stakes and the Aus­tralian Cup, two 2000m weight-for-age Group 1 races.

Any pro­posed changes will re­quire the co-op­er­a­tion of Vic­to­rian race club of­fi­cials.

TIME FOR THOMP­SON

CHAM­PION jockey Robert Thomp­son is aim­ing to break a 20-year drought and claim a sixth win in the Cess­nock Cup at his home track next Mon­day.

The Cess­nock Cup was first run in 1978, and Thomp­son was suc­cess­ful on Rosie Heir.

He won the Cup again on Full Alert (1983), Gay Scene (1987) and Trevino (1991).

The cham­pion jockey last won the race on Hot Aussie in 1995.

Thomp­son, 57, was re­cently in­ducted into the Aus­tralian Rac­ing Hall of Fame af­ter a 40-year-plus rid­ing ca­reer that has yielded 4120 win­ners – the most by an Aus­tralian­based jockey.

Cess­nock-born and raised, Thomp­son has re­mained true to his coun­try roots and, with the ex­cep­tion of two years in Hong Kong, he has re­sisted any move away from his home town.

No jockey rides Cess­nock as well as Thomp­son.

Among his big­gest wins at the pic­turesque Hunter Val­ley track is an amaz­ing 11 Jun­gle Juice Cups.

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