WARRNAMBOOL businessman Nick Rule has won a place on the Warrnambool Racing Club committee.
Rule, 53, will replace Bill Phillpot, who did not seek re-election after more than 30 years' service to the club.
Rule follows in the footsteps of his father John, a long-serving member of the committee and a past chairman.
"I've still got memories of John going to committee meetings when I was young," Rule said.
"He was on the committee for many years. I suppose racing got into my blood as a young bloke and it's just stayed there.
"The racing club is running really well. I'll just be watching how things go. Our May carnival is one of the best in Australia. I'll just be trying to help out the club in whatever role it wants me to."
Rule has raced many horses in partnership with friend and fellow Warrnambool businessman Martin Kavanagh. Their most notable interests include Megapixel, Dhaffer and Be Positive.
"Martin and I have small shares in various horses under the Manic syndicate," Rule said.
"It's just great to be involved in racing horses. We've been lucky because the people we have shares in horses with are really great people. Racing horses is a great social thing for people of all ages." Rule's appointment will be officially announced at the club's annual general meeting on Thursday, October 25.
PROMISING mare Spin The Bottle scored a last-stride win in a $20,000 restricted race over 1400 metres at Cranbourne on Sunday.
The win was Spin The Bottle's second victory from three starts and earned praise from her trainer Ciaron Maher.
"It was a good effort for her to win the restricted race after her maiden win at Ararat last month," Maher said.
"Not many horses win a maiden and then follow it up with a win in restricted company at their next start.
"She's a nice type of mare which is still improving. I think there's more improvement in her once she gets over more ground.
"I think she will run out a solid 2000 metres. We might look at a race at the Flemington carnival for her next start."
Racing Minister Denis Napthine is one of the four-year-old's owners. He praised Maher for his training of the mare and top jockey Glen Boss for his ride.
Boss said he thought Spin The Bottle had a bright future in distance races. She has picked up more than $26,000 from her three starts.
HIGH-PROFILE Western District racehorse owner Kingsley Peach said his underrated mare Exceptionally had pulled up well after her third placing in Saturday's Herbert Power Stakes and would now run in the $250,000 Moonee Valley Cup on October 27.
The Macarthur businessman said he was still hopeful that Exceptionally would force her way into this year's Melbourne Cup field.
"She'll run in the Moonee Valley Cup and we hope she can win that race as it will give her a start in the Melbourne Cup," Peach said. "But if she doesn't win at Moonee Valley we still hope she might sneak into the Melbourne Cup field through attrition to other horses.
"Exceptionally has only had one start at Moonee Valley. I think she'll handle the course as it usually has a bit of give in it," he said.
"If we don't get a run in the Melbourne Cup she'll run in the $250,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Flemington on the last day of their carnival."
Peach said trainer Terry O'Sullivan said Exceptionally had pulled up well after her run in the Herbert Power.
"She'll just have an easy time from now until she runs in the Moonee Valley Cup."
Exceptionally has earned just under $400,000 in stakemoney from her 32 starts.
IRON galloper Streaky Fella will be set for the $60,000 Hamilton Cup over 2200 metres on October 28 after his third placing in the $200,000 Cranbourne Cup on Sunday.
Trainer Aaron Purcell said the Hamilton Cup had always been on the agenda for Streaky Fella.
"We pencilled in a run in the Hamilton Cup a few months ago and nothing has changed," Purcell said.
"It was an excellent run in the Cranbourne Cup. He slipped at the start and ran into the race really well.
"Streaky Fella has had 16 rides for us since March this year. He's racing in great form. I'm sure he will be suited to the 2200 metres of the Hamilton Cup."
Sunday's third placing in the Cranbourne Cup took Streaky Fella's earnings to more than $300,000.
PATIENCE by Warrnambool hobby trainer Tammy Good helped Spartypants win his maiden at Ararat last week.
Spartypants has proven a handful for Good after barrier mishaps and immaturity issues but she has pushed on with the five-year-old and got her rewards with the maiden win in a 1200-metre race.
"The horse has had a few issues during his career. That's why he's been a lightly raced five-year-old. I've always had an opinion of the horse but he's been frustrating to train," Good said.
"I must give Shane Bottomley from Mornington a mention. He helped solve his barrier manners. The horse is still maturing and I reckon once he matures he will run out a strong 1400 metres."
Good said Spartypants would have his next start in a restricted race over 1100 metres at Hamilton on October 28.
COLOURFUL Colac trainer Bill Cerchi is not sure where his veteran galloper Diamonds At Noon will have his next start but he believes he will be competitive.
Cerchi has entered the horse at various race meetings over the next week but will probably stick to a country campaign before taking him to Melbourne late next month.
The seven-year-old scored an easy win at Ararat last week, prompting Cerchi to say he had the horse in career-best form.
"Diamonds At Noon is racing really well. He looks terrific and continues to thrive," Cerchi said.
"We'll probably take him down a country cups path over the next few weeks. I think the races in town might be just a bit strong at this stage but we would like to head there late next month."