Inside Racing - December 24

AN injection of $10,000 in stakemoney will take this Sunday's Woodford Cup purse to $35,000 and should ensure a good field, according to club secretary John Green.

The Woodford Cup is the middle leg of a $2000 trainers' bonus, which is offered to the trainer who can accumulate the most points. The Port Fairy and Koroit cups are the other legs.

"The extra $10,000 we've put into the cup prizemoney, plus the trainers' bonus, should ensure we get a really good field," Green said.

"The $35,000 stakemoney makes it the richest race in Victoria on Sunday.

"The Woodford Cup is always a keenly sought after race, but I think it might go to another level this year.

"Symon and Bill Wilde are the early leaders in the trainers' bonus, as they had a couple of runners in the Port Fairy Cup. But Jarrod McLean is hot on their heels after winning the cup with Scaredeymac."

Green said the club was delighted it was racing on its traditional Sunday race date again.

"We've raced on the public holiday over the past few years and it's not as good as the Sunday," he said.

"We're just glad we're back on the Sunday. I think we'll have the Sunday again next year. It all just depends where Christmas falls on the calendar.

"We've got numerous attractions organi sed for this Sunday.

"One of the highlights is the Woodford Sprint, which last year saw Hampden league footballers running for $1000. This year we'll also have a $1000 sprint for Hampden league netballers. We're sure this will create plenty of interest."

LIL Bit Musky's win in a $15,000 restricted race at Colac on Saturday helped pay for a few extra stubbies for respected Coleraine trainer Ivan Nolte to enjoy the festive season with his family. The five-year-old mare was having her third run for Nolte following a third place at Donald and a second at Mildura.

The hobby trainer said he expected Lil Bit Musky to win the 1000-metre race.

"I was pretty confident she would win after her runs at Donald and Mildura. She's a nice type of mare," he said.

"I paid $3500 for her at a mixed thoroughbred sale in Melbourne. She's well and truly paid for herself.

"I'll be able to afford a few extra stubbies after her win. I'll just take her along slowly before looking for another race for her."

The 65-year-old trainer said he could not remember when he trained his last winner but it was a long time ago.

"I reckon Liberty Glen was my last winner, but I can't remember when it was. But it was a long time ago," he said.

"I only potter around with one or two horses and don't have many runners.

"The best horse I trained was Intent Gaze. She won a Casterton Cup and won races at Flemington and Sandown. She was a very good mare."

Saturday's victory was Lil Bit Musky's third from 24 starts.

FORMER Colac apprentice jockey Ryan Maloney, who has been riding in career-best form, was lucky to have only sustained a broken left wrist after a fall from Beltrois in the Red Tempo Handicap at Flemington on Saturday.

Maloney guided Beltrois to a narrow win in the 1000m race before the gelding crashed to the turf just over the line.

FIVE south-west Victorian race meetings will provide a great day of fun and family entertainment thanks to funding from the Victorian government's race day attraction program.

Racing Minister Denis Napthine said the race days were part of 34 Kids' Summer of Country Racing events to be held at 26 racecourses across Victoria starting on Boxing Day.

The meetings in the south-west which are part of the program are Penshurst on Boxing Day, Woodford at Warrnambool racecourse on December 30, Terang on New Year's Day, Koroit at Warrnambool on January 6 and Camperdown on January 19.

"Summer racing is a fantastic time for families to enjoy a day at the races," Dr Napthine said. "Just some of the kids' activities that will be on offer include face painting, crazy cricket, sand art, jumping castles, mini-golf and rock-wall climbing.

" This program is a great way to build enthusiasm and excitement for the great sport of racing among families throughout Victoria."

Dr Napthine said the first 100 children to register at the Camp Australia stall on each race day would receive a complimentary Horseshoe Crew showbag.

UNIQUE Storm never gave her rivals a look-in when she scored an impressive maiden win at Colac on Saturday. The three-year-old filly, trained in Warrnambool by Denis Beriman and Roy Clarke, won the 1000 m maiden by more than three lengths.

"She's a promising filly. She just jumped well and controlled the race," Beriman said. "She was caught wide at her last start at Terang.

"She's still learning. I reckon she'll run out a strong 1200m once she puts it all together. I've got no big plans for her. I'll just take her home and see how she pulls up before making plans for her."

Top Warrnambool apprentice jockey Jackie Beriman took the riding honours at Colac.

Beriman posted two wins on the seven-race program.

She was successful on Unique Storm in a maiden plate over 1000m and Relentless, which won a restricted race over 1600m.

Beriman's two winners at Colac followed hot on the heels of her winning double at Moonee Valley under lights on Thursday night.

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