Raceday focus: Best bets at Queanbeyan, Por Macquarie

CLIFF can give his trainer Joe Cleary a third Queanbeyan Cup win on Sunday and send the locals into a frenzy but only if he runs a strong 2000m.

The ‘ten furlongs’ is the potential chink in the armour of a horse that was once considered by many to be a non-winner, but not any more.

Cliff has been runner-up 10 times in his 37 starts with another five third placings but his tally of wins has gone from a stationary ‘2’ to a growing ‘6’ in relatively quick time.

“This is the best ever preparation I have had with him and he will for a well deserved spell after Sunday,’’ Cleary said. “Twelve months ago he was getting beaten in non TAB meetings down the Coast. I think he’s earned over a hundred grand this preparation.’’




LUCY ROSE (Race 6, No.3)

Bordering on heroic when she finished third at Randwick in the last race on Everest day bearing in mind she was on the inside fence and the two Godolphin horses that beat her were both out under the arches. Back home here!


GOING PURPLE (Race 1, No.1)

Has done the majority of his racing in Tasmania where his record was 11 starts for a win, a second and four thirds. He has been with Greg Stephens at Sapphire Coast for three runs, each one better than the last. Nicely placed.


LADY MOSSMAN (Race 2, No.6)

She hasn’t run a place in 14 starts but she has finished fourth on four occasions and in much better company than what she meets today. Last run was a ripper, too.


If Joe Cleary has the sort of day that it look he might, then JESS TAYLOR will win the TAB Jockeys Challenge. ‘JT’ could ride the last three legs of the quaddie.


Race 5: 1, 2, 4, 5

Race 6: 3

Race 7: 1, 2

Race 8: 1, 2, 3


Jess Taylor could have a big day in tandem with the Joe Cleary stable. Picture: AAPSource:AAP





She’s finally drawn a handy gate being stuck out in the carpark at her first four runs this time in which have been pretty good so this is her chance to win again.


JUMPER LEADS (Race 5, No.7)

He’s talented and got the speed to lead this field but and if he’s tough enough to absorb a bit of extra pressure this time he’s going to be hard to run down.


ROCKET MONKEY (Race 6, No.3)

This horse improves greatly second-up and was beaten by a Country Championships contender first-up so there’s a lot to like about him and he’s fitter.


Race 4: 1, 2, 5, 12

Race 5: 3, 7

Race 6: 3, 4

Race 7: 3, 6, 7, 10


NEIL GODBOLT brings nice team to his home track with Typhoon Bunny looking to be his best winning chance.


ANDREW GIBBONS has a stack of winning chances, including Kalahari, Azarose, Onida and Lucciola Belle.

Jockey Andrew Gibbons has some excellent winning chances at Port Macquarie.Source:News Limited


That said, Cliff hasn’t won past 1460m but Cleary is quietly confident he will get the trip.

“He ran a really good race in an 1800m TAB Highway some time back at Randwick,’’ he said. “He is probably at the end of his preparation and not ideally weighted but instead of galloping down the highway, six hours up and back to Sydney every Wednesday, this is an opportunity to walk him down the hill and race him in his hometown Cup.

“He galloped (on Friday morning) and his work was outstanding. He tries his heart and gives it one hundred per cent all the time.’’

Cleary holds the aces in the co-feature on Sunday’s big Queanbeyan annual saddling-up Lucy Rose and Coolring in the Thunderbolt Handicap over the 1000m.

Lucy Rose earned plenty of praise in defeat when run down late by Godolphin pair Esperance and Revenire in the last race at Randwick on Everest day when on opposite sides of the track – Lucy Rose being on the worst section.

“She is ticking over fantastic,’’ Cleary said. “Both her and Coolring will head to Flemington and race on Oaks day. Coolring will go into the Grey’s Race and there is a 1000m Listed race for Lucy Rose to try and get her some black-type.

Joe Cleary will be chasing his third Queanbeyan Cup on Sunday.Source:News Corp Australia

“I really want to get her out to the 1200m for the Kosciuszko next year, she’ll be a year older and a bit stronger, but at the moment I am going to concentrate on the five furlong races. If she is going OK down in Melbourne I might even try and find one of those 955m races at Moonee Valley for her.’’

Cleary should have a huge day at home this afternoon given handy galloper Bart and Hard Core engaged in very winnable races, particularly the latter.

“It looks a perfect race to kick off his preparation,” Cleary said. “He’ll probably only have one or two runs and then a short spell and get ready for the Canberra Guineas in March next year.”

Meantime, trainer Marc Conners has three good hopes, including Queanbeyan Cup topweight Dylan’s Romance, but his best chance is a horse who hasn’t run a place in 14 starts.

The mare in question is Lady Mossman who contests a rather skinny AGH Demolition Maiden Handicap (1460m) with Winona Costin in the saddle. Costin was aboard the four-year-old mare when she charged home to finish a 2-length fifth in a 1400m Canberra Maiden.

“She has been a bit of an enigma,’’ Conners said. “She can run a fantastic race then next start she can run a shocker. We just thought that the race might unfold well for her down there … hopefully, she can get a nice run and get to the line strong.’’

Marc Conners will saddle-up Dylan’s Romance in the Queanbeyan Cup. Picture: Simon BullardSource:News Corp Australia

As her name suggests, Lady Mossman is a daughter of Mossman who was trained by Marc’s father, Clarry, for Peter And Wendy Moran of Staging fame. Conners’ Queanbeyan Cup contender Dylan’s Romance hasn’t won past 1900m but should have no trouble seeing out the 2000m depending on what pressure is applied in the lead group.

The son of Arc winner Dylan Thomas won at Hawkesbury on September 1 and was a brave fourth at Rosehill after that before his last-start six-length eighth of 10 behind the unbeaten Girl Tuesday on the Kensington track 11 days ago.

“I actually thought it wasn’t a bad run,’’ Conners said. “The winner is a pretty smart mare and, take her out of the equation, he didn’t get beaten that far.’’

Conners’ third runner on the card is actually his first.

Power Of Destiny son Skaldak goes around in the opener in what looks like a suitable race.


Matt Jones

JUMPER Leads could be the next big thing to come out of Colt Prosser’s stables — and it could be confirmed as early as today.

The Direct Charge three-year-old races in a Class 1 Handicap (1006m) after blitzing his rivals by 5½ lengths in a maiden on debut at Port Macquarie on October 6.

But not many horses win their Class 1 race at their first attempt.

“He’s got to step up and win a Class 1 now which is never easy,’’ Prosser said. “Normally, they take a couple of runs to take that next step up but he’s got his fair share of ability.

“I can see a lot more pace in this race and he won’t get it handed up to him like he did on debut. He’ll have to concede a bit of pressure. He’s got plenty of ability and he’ll win his fair share of races throughout his career but he’s got a bit of ratbag in him at the moment.”

Jumper Leads will jump from barrier two with Belinda Hodder retaining the ride and it is expected the horse will lead. Hodder’s got to make sure her mount doesn’t burn himself out too early in the race and have enough left in the tank for what’s going to be his toughest test.

“He’s always shown me plenty of ability but he’s always been a hot horse,’’ Prosser said. “He’s a brother to Prince Mayted but he doesn’t have Price Mayted’s laid-back attitude.

Bowman’s Smash Hit win0:00

Horse Racing: Winx jockey Hugh Bowman has began his quest for a fourth consecutive Cox Plate in scintillating fashion with a tremendous ride to pilot the Darren Weir-trained topweight Brave Smash to victory in the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes.

“I can’t work many horses with him because he’s just too good for them. He’s got a massive stride. I’d love to see him take a sit but nothing seems to have the speed to lead him. If there’s good pressure in the race, hopefully he’ll take a sit.’’

Prosser said he was going to spell Jumper Leads after his debut win to get him ready for the Country Championships next year but another win today will make it easier to get a run in the rich series.

“We won’t be chasing those benchmark points (to get him in the race) if he wins this. I had two that won their last starts before the Country Championships heats this year but couldn’t get in because their benchmarks were too low,” Prosser said.

Rocket Monkey is Prosser’s other big hope today and his record says he’ll improve greatly second-up in the sixth race after running fourth to Shelley Beach Road last start.

“They didn’t put enough speed into the race in a small field first-up but his run was very good,” Prosser said. “I pulled him out of a Highway race last weekend because he drew a wide gate so you’d like to think if I was going to run him in a Highway he’d be hard to beat in a Benchmark 58 race.”

Raining On Sunday is Prosser’s final runner and she’ll improve greatly from whatever she does in her Benchmark 58 Handicap (1506m). “She’s working well and looks good but will need this run.”



RACE 1 (12.55pm)

Magic Albert son 1. Going Purple had done all his racing in Tasmania prior to joining the Greg Stephens stable at Sapphire Coast for whom he had run three runs, each run was better than the last by and large. Stephens has found a suitable race for his first mainland win. 6. Marzena is a one-race winner on trial at 1600m but she is fit. 3. Skaldak’s only win was here two runs ago.

BET STRATEGY: GOING PURPLE win; Quinella 1,6; Exacta 1 to beat 6.

RACE 2 (1.30pm)

6. Lady Mossman has not managed a place in her 14 starts but she is the value bet on the Cup card. The Marc Conners-trained daughter of Mossman put the writing on the wall big time at her last outing when closing fast from the back. Makes genuine each-way appeal. 1. Cook Straight was a stablemate of Winx up until recently. Placed both four times from six runs for new trainer. Blinkers first time. 8. One Of A Kind has serious claims.

BET STRATEGY: LADY MOSSMAN each-way; Quinella 1,6.

RACE 3 (2.05pm)

2. Hard Core is a Gerry Harvey-bred son of All Too Hard trained locally by Joe Cleary, who is quite bullish about the gelding’s prospects here. Hard Core hasn’t done much wrong in his five starts, notching a win and two placings. Drawn well and only really has to overcome Canberra filly 1. Reason To Smile to win. Norm Gardner’s filly won back-to-back races here before failing at Nowra. Trialled since and went well. They look the two players.

BET STRATEGY: HARD CORE win; Quinella 1,2; Exacta 2 to beat 1.

RACE 4 (2.40pm)

2. Lucky Pick is a late starter, he’s a four-year-old having his first run in a race but there was enough to like about his trial to suggest he can gallop a bit. That said, the trial was on Xmas Eve in 2017 so the market can be our only real guide. There aren’t any champions on paper here to go up against so he can’t ask for a better starting point. 4. Tunnel Rat is a big chance to lead and will be hard to run down. 6. Brussels is a hope.


RACE 5 (3.15pm)

1. Olifants has been trained by John O’Shea, Darren Beadman, James Cummings, Cody Morgan and, on Sunday, has his first run under the care of Canberra horseman Doug Gorrel. The son of Animal Kingdom won for Morgan at Gunnedah recently and again at Narromine before that. Has a decent record and should be high in the finish here. 5. Chiang Mai Express is a major obstacle. Beaten 0.2 lengths first-up here. Go close again. 4. Kitana was third in the same race.


RACE 6 (3.55pm)

Local trainer Joe Cleary holds the key to this race with his pair, 3. Lucy Rose and 1. Coolring. Lucy Rose was absolutely heroic at Randwick in the last race on Everest day. She led on the fence whereas the two Godolphin horses that beat her to the line where deadset on the grandstand rail. Lucy Rose is a 1000m specialist. Coolring should find his stablemate too nippy but is 94 rater! 2. Miss Liffey has won nine from 20 at the 1000m, that’s all her career wins.


RACE 7 (4.30pm)

Joe Cleary’s cleverly-named 1. Bart (a son of So You Think) might just be too good for these. Granted he has a ‘0’ alongside his name but that was first-up in a $100,000 TAB Highway on Everest day and bear in mind that it was a Heavy 9. Back home, fitter, up slightly in trip are all positives for the gelding so oo that Jess Taylor rides. 2. Mucker is the fit, in-form, horse in the race and has drawn well. 4. Chatober has place claims.

BET STRATEGY: BART win; Quinella 1,2.

RACE 8 (5.06pm)

Three starts back, 3. Keep Up was runner-up to High Bridge, who ran fourth in the Metropolitan soon after. Had excuses at Randwick on October 6, less so at his most recent start perhaps but on his day, he is probably the best ‘ten furlong horse’ in the Cup and that might be the difference between him and his two main rivals namely 2. Cliff and 1. Dylan’s Romance. That said, if Cliff runs a strong 2000m, he might just win this.

BET STRATEGY: KEEP UP win; Quinella 2,3; Exacta 3 to beat 2.

Originally published as Raceday focus: Best bets at Queanbeyan, Por Macquarie

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