Too Cluie for the pack
WITH five race meetings to go for this calendar year, trainers Ross Meek and Neil Boyle have renewed their battle for the $5000 Milne Bros/Case IH leading trainer award. Last year the award was decided on the last day of the competition with Meek just edging Boyle out.
On Saturday each trainer led in one winner but courtesy of two other place-getters, Boyle was able to narrow Meek’s lead to just one point.
The $1.80 favourite Too Cluie got the Meek stable off to the best possible start when she ran her rivals off their legs in the 1000m Class 4 Handicap, leading all the way to record a winning margin of one and a quarter lengths over Senorina ($3.20) and Origin Brave ($4.60). The win also took jockey Mark Barnham to a three-point lead in the $2000 Jockey of the Year award and he is now well placed to repeat his win of last year.
Local business operators Roy Woods and Tony Svenson were all smiles when $13 chance Merry Miss just held out Tuscan Image ($15) and Charmingly ($3.80) in the 1200m Class 2 Handicap.
Although Woods has raced many horses over the years, it is Svenson’s first venture into race horse ownership and if the jubilation he showed after Merry Miss’ win is anything to go by, it won’t be his last.
Bluff trainer David Munns is back on the winner’s list with Dashing Doll snaring first in the 1200m Open Handicap.
The fact she was only a Class 4 horse didn’t stop punters supporting her to start at $6. In the closest finish of the day, she edged out Sobeit ($12) by a short neck with a further nose back to the $1.70 favourite Albert’s Image.
Trainer Neil Boyle seldom goes home from Emerald without a winner and he did it in style in the final event the 1615m Class B Handicap when $3.20 favourite Three Fingers got home by two and a half lengths over Chicken Dinner ($7.50). Jockey Tracey O’Hara gave Three Fingers plenty of time to settle and then made her run at the 400m mark claiming the leaders and coming clear for a comfortable win.