Home­com­ing brings joy on and off track

The Weekend Post - - Sport - JOR­DAN GERRANS jor­dan.gerrans@news.com.au

EV­ERY­THING is falling into place for lead­ing Far North hoop Wan­der­son D’Avila.

The Brazil­ian has re­lo­cated back to the Table­lands af­ter a stint rid­ing in New South Wales and wel­comed his sec­ond child into the world this week.

D’Avila has been in hot rid­ing form, too, grab­bing a treble late last month be­fore boot­ing home an­other on Tues­day at Can­non Park for Mel­bourne Cup day.

The jockey looks set for an­other strong day in the sad­dle at Cook­town Am­a­teur Turf Club this af­ter­noon as he takes five rides for pro­lific Mackay trainer John Manzel­mann.

Manzel­mann and D’Avila com­bine with French Song in today’s $13,000 Cook­town Cup Bench­mark 65 Hand­i­cap (1700m).

“As we all know, John Manzel­mann is a very good trainer,” D’Avila said.

“I am al­ways happy to jump on his horses.

“Gor­geous Gal in the QTIS race is prob­a­bly my best ride of the day.”

The D’avila fam­ily wel­comed their sec­ond child this week, a boy named Ney­mar, and the pro­lific hoop says it is fam­ily first af­ter spend­ing the best part of the last year chas­ing rides around Aus­tralia.

“I am very happy to be back up here, I love it up here around Cairns,” D’Avila said.

“I had a good time in New South Wales for a lit­tle bit but I am more suited on the Table­lands for my fam­ily.

“My wife (Sharlee) be­ing a horse trainer, it was a bit hard for her, me be­ing away for so long and now we have had an­other baby, it is time to be back.

“All my wife’s fam­ily is up here too, so it is more con­ve­nient for ev­ery­one.”

The Cook­town Cup is set to at­tract 2000 peo­ple today with the first race set down for de­ci­sion at 1.15pm.

Last year boasted a record at­ten­dance, record prize­money and a record num­ber of horses in the 144-year his­tory of the race meet­ing.

Cook­town is the sec­ond old­est turf club in Queens­land and this event is an an­nual high­light.

The cup is a Bench­mark 65 Hand­i­cap over 1700m val­ued at $13,000 and is the fi­nal event on the six-race card.

Atherton trainer Janel Ryan is hop­ing As­sertive Love can re­gain her form from last prepa­ra­tion in the Cup.

“The only thing that might do her is fit­ness,” Ryan said.

“This will test her a lit­tle bit.

“She is step­ping up from the 1400m to the 1700m today.”

Turn Up The Vol­ume, trained by Trevor Rowe and rid­den by Sonja Wise­man, is shoot­ing for two Cook­town Cups in a row today.

Pic­ture: BREN­DAN RADKE

CUP CHASE: Jockey Wan­der­son D'Avila, rid­ing Fine 'n' Devine in the Nuleaf 3yo bench­mark 60 Hand­i­cap at Can­non Park, is look­ing for­ward to the Cook­town Cup.

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