MORE than 55 millimetres of rain in the past two days should have minimal impact on the newly-renovated track for Sunday's Jericho Cup meeting at the Warrnambool racecourse, according to track and facilities manager Brent O'Rourke.
The Jericho Cup meeting is the first race day Warrnambool has staged in 11 weeks while the track underwent the major renovation.
"It's been 23 years since the track had works on it like we've just done," O'Rourke said.
"The track has come up a treat and should be in tip-top condition for Sunday's meeting.
"The track was taken back to bare dirt as part of our renovation process.
"The weather bureau is predicting fine weather late in the week after a few showers early in the week. Strong winds and a bit of sun later in the week will ensure we've got a great surface for Sunday.
"The paddocks where the Jericho will be run will be heavy. We've done a lot of maintenance work over the last few months in the paddocks and there's a great grass cover.
"We're just excited we'll be back racing again."
The running rail will be in the true position for Sunday's eight-race program.
WARRNAMBOOL trainer Daniel Bowman has predicted Is It Me could turn into a bargain buy for his connections.
Is It Me won at his racecourse debut by seven lengths at Penshurst on Saturday and Bowman said there could be more wins in store for the three-year-old.
"We went to Penshurst pretty confident Is It Me would win," the group one-winning trainer said.
"We've given him plenty of time to mature but he's still learning about the racing caper.
"He had a couple of jump-outs at Warrnambool and went well before he going really well in a Casterton jump out.
"I knew we had to find the right maiden race and he would win it. This maiden looked ideal.
"He made a one act affair of the race. We gave $40,000 for him at 2021 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale and he looks to be a very cheap buy after that win.
"He's got a very bright future. He's bred to be at his best in races from 1600 metres to 2000 metres.
"I'm in no hurry to give him another run. We'll just take him along slowly before looking at another race or he may head to the paddock for a break."
Is It Me was the first leg of a winning double for Bowman at Penshurst.
Honour De Hero was his other winner on the eight-race program. Both winners were ridden by Warrnambool-based jockey Melissa Julius.
Bowman said Honour De Hero was a consistent performer for her connections.
"Honour De Hero ran second in a maiden at this meeting last year," he said.
"It was trainer error she got beat last year. It's great she came back and won a restricted race this year. She's just so honest.
"She had trialled up well and I thought she would be in the finish."
Bowman acknowledged Julius' hard work in riding track-work.
"Melissa does a big job for our stable," he said. "She puts in the hard yards and deserves race rides on the back of the work she puts in."
Julius said it was a relief to ride a double after a quiet few months.
"It's just so competitive in the riding ranks," she said."You've just got to keep on turning up and riding track-work and hope it all swings around and you can get rides and winners.
"The abandoned meetings have had a real impact. I was down to ride at three meetings in Melbourne Cup week and they all got abandoned - that makes it really tough for jockeys.
"I'm grateful to Daniel who supports me and to other Warrnambool trainers including Quinton Scott, Lindsey Smith and Jane Baker who support me. I usually head up to Bendigo on a Friday to ride work for my brother Josh."
Julius has ridden 157 winners during her career.
APPRENTICE jockey Laura Lafferty pleaded guilty to a careless riding charge following her ride on Andiron at Swan Hill on Sunday.
The Warrnambool hoop will be on the sidelines for eight meetings. Her suspension starts midnight November 23 and ends midnight November 30.
Stewards deemed the incident in the low range. Fellow hoop Mark Pegus will miss 11 meetings after pleading guilty to a careless riding charge following his ride on Showies Best Shot at Tatura on Saturday.
The charge related to an incident near the 900-metre mark when stewards found Pegus permitted his mount to shift in.
His suspension starts at midnight on November 22 and ends midnight December 2.
Stewards deemed the incident in the mid-range before handing down the penalty.
STRONG drafts from industry heavyweights Coolmore and Godolphin highlight a compelling catalogue in the Inglis Digital November Online Sale, which is open for bidding now.
The Coolmore duo consists of talented gallopers Basquiat and Cool Karp while Godolphin has 19 horses unreserved in the auction including Criaderas.
The November (late) catalogue has 276 entries features 174 racehorses (66 race fillies), 39 broodmares, 39 racehorse shares and 19 yearlings. Bidding closes at midday on Wednesday.
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