Gal­lop­ing good time

Mel­bourne Cup suc­cess for Tweed River Jockey Club

Tweed Daily News - - SPORT - STEPHEN SENISE

NEAR per­fect con­di­tions boosted the track­side ex­pe­ri­ence at Mur­willum­bah on Tues­day, when the Tweed River Jockey Club hosted one of its most pop­u­lar events, the tra­di­tional Mel­bourne Cup day races.

The mild spring weather and over­cast skies com­bined to put on a great af­ter­noon of coun­try rac­ing for the roughly 3000 pa­trons on hand to en­joy the fes­tiv­i­ties, fash­ions and live lo­cal rac­ing. In one of the early races, the Tweed Daily News maiden plate, Miss Honeyflow scored by half a length giv­ing ev­ery in­di­ca­tion there will be more wins in store for the lightly raced three-year-old filly. She had been fin­ish­ing off her races nicely, pre­vi­ously, and the ex­tra dis­tance and lo­cal track pro­vided the win­ning com­bi­na­tion on this oc­ca­sion. In the fea­ture El­lis & Bax­ter So­lic­i­tors & At­tor­ney Cup, a Bench­mark 45 hand­i­cap over 1530m, jockey Laura Cheshire guided Mar­lahn ($4) home by three quar­ters of a length from favourite Devlann and the fast fin­ish­ing Strombo. Cheshire took a sit in the fast lane, just be­hind the lead­ers early on, be­fore making a mid-race move.

She kept her mount gun­ning for the lead as they ap­proached the 800m peg and straight­ened in front, break­ing the heart of po­ten­tial chal­lengers with a fi­nal spurt in the shad­ows of the post. Trainer Garry Sch­wenke, who made the three hour jour­ney to Mur­willum­bah from War­wick, was ju­bi­lant, say­ing it was one of the geld­ing’s best wins, and was ea­ger to credit Cheshire for a hand­some ride.

“She couldn’t have rid­den him any bet­ter than that – it was a great win,” he said.

For Cheshire, who is based at Bun­dall race­course on the Gold Coast, the Cup vic­tory se­cured a win­ning dou­ble, a feat she shared with Brooke Ainsworth who took out the last two races of the day. Cheshire is a pop­u­lar reg­u­lar on the North­ern Rivers rac­ing scene, and has a knack for string­ing to­gether a few wins when hit­ting a pur­ple patch of rid­ing form. She rode a win­ning dou­ble at last year’s lo­cal An­zac Day races.

The win­ner, Mar­lahn, is a five-year-old, and has now notched up three ca­reer wins plus four plac­ings from 28 starts. His lo­cal record is near per­fect, with a win and a sec­ond place from two out­ings. Sch­wenke said he will take his time in de­ter­min­ing where to from here with the son of Daichi No, but a re­turn visit to Mur­willum­bah in the near fu­ture would not sur­prise.

The Mel­bourne Cup day meet­ing was the first in a quick triple-header of late-spring and early sum­mer events at Mur’bah race­course, with two big TAB race­days sched­uled on Fri­day, Novem­ber 17 and Fri­day, De­cem­ber 8 (Christ­mas twi­light).

Nom­i­na­tions for Fri­day’s meet close on Mon­day at 11am. One of the day’s fea­ture races will be a Bench­mark 60 hand­i­cap over 1530m.

PHOTO: SCOTT POWICK

WIN­NER: Miss Honeyflow rid­den by Noriyuki Ma­suda, pips Me­gashot at the post to win the Tweed Daily News Cup dur­ing the Tweed River Jockey Club race day at the pic­turesque Ty­gal­gah track, in the shadow of Mt Warn­ing.

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