Plans are well underway for 5000 patrons to be on-course for the popular Jericho Cup at Warrnambool on Sunday, November 28, after the government announced a lifting of some COVID restrictions.
Only 500 patrons were allowed on-course last year because of the pandemic to see the Symon Wilde trained Count Zero win the third running of the Jericho Cup.
Warrnambool Racing Club chief executive Tom O'Connor said he was delighted with the news from the government.
"It'll be great to see patrons back on-course for one of our feature days," O'Connor said. "We're checking out the necessary paperwork from the government regarding the staging of events but from what we've been told we can have 5000 people on-course. The event paperwork is different to the general hospitality paperwork. It looks like there may be a restriction to the amount of people we may have indoors but outdoors the numbers are flexible. We're hoping to have everything sorted out within the next few days. Our members and the general public all want to get back to the races to acknowledge such a great event as the Jericho Cup."
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained Raise You Ten picked up three points to gain a start in this year's Jericho Cup following his win in a heat of the Jericho Cup series at Gawler on Friday.
Illowa hobby racehorse breeders Leo and Maureen Dwyer took more than a passing interest in the group two win of Just Folk in the $300,000 Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Just Folk, who is trained by their grandson, Bendigo trainer Josh Julius, was bred by the Dwyers. The lightly-raced five-year-old is by underrated sire Magnus out of the handy mare Fast Ruby. Saturday's victory was Just Folk's fifth from 15 starts. Just Folk took his prizemoney earnings to more than $300,000 with the win. Fast Ruby is only days away from having another foal to Magnus. The Dwyers are anxiously awaiting news they may have another group winner in the breeding barn. For the record, Just Folk's full brother Highclass Harry has won five of his 15 starts.
Popular Warrnambool galloper Begood Toya Mother showed he's not far away from another win with a second placing in the $300,000 Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Just Folk defeated Begood Toya Mother by half-a-length in winning the group two race.
Daniel Bowman, who trains Begood Toya Mother, was happy with the result.
"It would have been great to win with Begood Toya Mother but I was satisfied with his performance in running second," Bowman said. "Begood Toya Mother is knocking on the door for another win. His last few runs have been very good. He's been a shade unlucky in a couple of those races. There's a group three race worth $200,000 over 1400 metres at Flemington on November 6 which looks an ideal race for Begood Toya Mother. We may push on to the Cranbourne Cup with him after Flemington but it all depends how well he's going."
Bowman has spelled his lightly-raced filly Fortunate Kiss following her unplaced effort in a group two race at the Valley on Saturday.
"Fortunate Kiss has had no luck at her last couple of runs," he said. "She deserves a break. We'll bring her back for some nice fillies races over the autumn. With time I think she'll develop into a handy horse."
The daughter of Divine Prophet has won one of her six starts.
Honest Warrnambool galloper Grandview Avenue is heading for a long spell following his unplaced run in a $130,000 sprint race at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Grandview Avenue, with jockey Teo Nugent aboard, finished nearly 20 lengths behind Dexelation when he resumed in the 1000-metre race.
The steward's report from the race reveals Nugent said Grandview Avenue was short in his action. A post-race veterinary examination revealed lameness.
Trainer Simon Ryan said the six-year-old had been a great horse for his connections. "We'll give him a good break and check him out in a few months to see if he continues racing," Ryan said. "Grandview Avenue has done a mighty job during his career winning nine races with one of those a listed race and collecting more than $300,000 in stakemoney. It's not a bad effort for a home-bred horse."
Meanwhile, Ryan is quietly confident his filly Morrissette will gain a start in the $1 million VRC Oaks at Flemington on November 4.
"Morrissette is 20th in line to gain a start in the Oaks," he said. "I've got my fingers crossed a few of the horses nominated in front of her will not be there when the second acceptors are taken for the race next week."
Morrissete ran fourth at her last start in the Ethereal Stakes a traditional lead-in race to the VRC Oaks.
Jockey Nathan Punch was outed on a careless riding charge following his winning ride on Swelter Magic in the St Arnaud Cup on Sunday. Punch pleaded guilty to the charge, which related to an incident passing the winning post on the first occasion in the 2000-metre race. Stewards found Punch permitted Swelter Magic to shift in when insufficiently clear of Equine Philosopher. Punch had his licence suspended for eight meetings. Zac Spain was suspended on a careless riding charge after his ride on Bowrider at Sale.
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