Bathurst gets in the spirit to honour homegrown legends

Legends race-day kicks into action at Bathurst on Sunday, honouring past heroes with a connection to the central districts city. The Tulloch Cup honours the former Tommy Smith-trained champion which stood at stud in the area; the Barb Handicap honours the 1866 Melbourne Cup winner born in Bathurst; the Rising Prince Handicap aligns to the 1985 WS Cox Plate winner trained in Bathurst by Deidre Stein; the Gold Circle Handicap remembers the 1981 Epsom winner, bred, trained and owned in Bathurst; the Hugh Bowman Handicap honours the champion Sydney rider from Dunedoo who was under the care of riding great Billy Aspros, also with a race named in his honour. The $25,000 Bathurst Cup (2000m) looks an even affair with a husband and wife team - jockey Jon Grisedale and trainer Donna Grisedale - combining with Magic Ivy. Jon Grisedale, 49, a past Bathurst Cup winner with more than 1200 wins to his credit, said the mare was "feeling fantastic. As good as gold."


''Sunday's Peter Milling Dubbo Yearling Sale offers a rare opportunity to acquire a youngster by Youthful Legs, a veteran American-bred sire closely related to Danehill, who has a reputation for supplying performers with iron constitutions," writes breeding buff Brian Russell. The yearling is out of Sutton Star, a daughter of Magic Albert. Youthful Legs is the sire of 17-time winner Youthful Jack, Malta (14 wins), Hexy Legs (13), Youthful Edition (12), Adhemar (12), Get Up (11), Sutton Friend (11), Sir Redford (10), Gold Buckle (10) and I Love Legs (10). Typically, the sale has a long history of allowing buyers to attain reasonably cheap buys who more than pay their own way.


Port Macquarie jockey Allan Chau will be sidelined for over six months after a race fall at Grafton last Saturday. Chau's mount, Simple Love, came down on the home turn. He suffered a fracture to his C2 vertebrae, a fractured shoulder, torn shoulder ligaments, a broken finger, injured wrist and fractured jaw when a following horse clipped him. "He's in good spirits but pretty shaken," said Chau's manager Graeme Flyght. "The worst thing he was complaining about was he wasted before the meeting and can't eat solid foods with the broken jaw." Chau is recuperating in John Flynn Hospital on the Gold Coast.


Prussian Secret, a $7000 tried horse purchase from Victoria and now the winner of 14 races, is being readied for the Tamworth Cup. The gelding, trained by former champion apprentice and buck jump rider Cody Morgan, finished third in last year's cup. Prussian Secret scored an amazing win second-up over 1100m at Grafton last Monday when he flew over the final 400m to edge out Spiritist. A winner of the Mackay, Gunnedah, Wellington, Quirindi, Armidale and Coonamble cups, the gelding has amassed almost $250,000 prizemoney. Meanwhile, another Grafton winner, Eumeralla Quest, is headed towards the $35,000 Armidale Cup (1900m) on March 18. Prepared by Robert Knight, the six-year-old was another Victorian cast-off, arriving at Knight's Armidale stables as a maiden winner in Casterton.

TAB meetings: Sunday - Bathurst, Canberra. Monday - Scone, Murwillumbah. Tuesday - Port Macquarie, Friday - Grafton. Saturday - Dubbo, Queanbeyan.

This story Bathurst gets in the spirit to honour homegrown legends first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.