LEADING Sydney trainer Annabel Neasham will join high-profile racing identities Jamie Kah and Michelle Payne for a charity fundraiser at Woolsthorpe's Union Station Hotel in May.
Victoria's star trainer Ciaron Maher, top jockey Ben Melham, sports presenter Michael Felgate and Warrnambool trainer Lindsey Smith are among other speakers who will be at the May 1 function.
Last year, the event raised more than $100,000 for charity and organiser Janice McKenna is hoping for a similar result in six weeks time.
"We've got a sensational group of speakers headed by Annabel, Jamie and Michelle," Ms McKenna said. "The three have never spoken at a function together previously. Annabel is one of Australia's top young trainers and has had great success training group one winners since she took out her trainers licence while Jamie and Michelle don't need any introductions.
"We're extremely lucky to have them at the event. It should be a great day as everyone will be in the racing mood with the Warrnambool May Racing Carnival kicking off the next day. The speakers will mingle with patrons during the afternoon which will allow them to have a chat with the stars of the turf.
"The inaugural fundraiser last year was a huge success for charities and we've got our fingers crossed we can build on that come May 1.
"Ciaron was there last year and since then he's won the Melbourne Cup with Gold Trip plus lots of other winners. Ciaron and his training partner David Eustace will give patrons a great insight into their success. The Union Station Hotel are delighted to put on the event for such a worthwhile cause."
The National Jockeys Trust, Leila Rose Foundation and Warrnambool's Standing Tall will be benefactors from the fundraising fundraiser.
"We've got a wonderful array of items to be auctioned during the afternoon," Ms McKenna said. "They include shares in horses to lots of other packages including one from the Melbourne Racing Club and a great one from Darley."
Tickets for the event are available online at the hotel's website, with buses coming and going from Warrnambool to Woolsthorpe for the event.
Jumper breaks maiden
BALLARAT trainer Declan Maher has plans of setting his first season jumper Epizeel at the Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase after the six-year-old won his maiden hurdle at Terang last Friday.
Maher said Epizeel will be more at home in steeplechase races than over hurdles.
"Epizeel is a free striding jumper," he said. "It was a good effort by him to win at his jumps debut in a maiden hurdle but I'm confident Epizeel will be a better jumper over the bigger fences. We'll school him over the fences at Warrnambool next week before running him in a steeplechase at Pakenham and then look at the May Carnival."
Epizeel has won four of his 38 starts.
Mare finds form interstate
IN-form Warrnambool mare Ornamental Lady kept her good record rolling, winning a restricted race at Mount Gambier last Friday.
Trainer Daniel Bowman said Ornamental Lady was suited by races over the border.
"She's won three of her last six starts," Bowman said. "Ornamental Lady just seems to struggle in the restricted races in Victoria but she runs really well over the border. She's an honest mare who puts in 100 per cent. We'll try and find more suitable races in South Australia for her."
From her 20 starts Ornamental Lady has won four races and filled the minor place-getters stall on numerous occasions.
'Exciting' galloper impresses
TRAINER Peter Chow was excited with the run of his lightly raced galloper True Nobility finishing fourth in a $250,000 race at Moonee Valley on Saturday, according to stable foreman Stewie Bishop.
True Nobility, ridden by Harry Coffey, finished less than a length behind Yulong Patrol at his first try over 1600 metres.
"We were really happy with the performance by True Nobility," Bishop said. "We had a bit of a question mark about him running out a solid mile but he hit the line hard. Harry was really happy with the run and said he's confident with time True Nobility should run out a solid mile."
Calls for Cup hosts
SUBMISSIONS have opened for destinations across the world to host the 2023 Melbourne Cup trophy.
Once selected as a tour destination, communities will be supported by the Victoria Racing Club to plan and host a range of memorable community events during the People's Cup's visit. The Melbourne Cup Sweep will also return as part of the tour and give 24 rural and regional Cup destinations across Australia the opportunity to be allocated a barrier for the 2023 Melbourne Cup.
A stable of racing legends will accompany the Melbourne Cup trophy as ambassadors and share their unforgettable Melbourne Cup moments.
The Lexus Melbourne Cup tour is one of the most important initiatives of the VRC since its inception in 2003. Successful 2023 Melbourne Cup tour submissions will be announced in June with the tour officially commencing in July.
Out of action
THREE jockeys were suspended after meetings at Swan Hill and Yarra Glen on Sunday.
Josh Cartwright pleaded guilty to a whip infringement at Swan Hill, with his eight meeting suspension to start midnight on March 25 and end midnight April 1.
Fellow hoop Mitch Aitken was outed for eight meetings after pleading guilty to a careless riding charge at Swan Hill, while Alana Kelly pleaded guilty to a careless riding charge at Yarra Glen.
Aitken's suspension starts on March 21 and ends midnight March 28, while Kelly's time on the sidelines begins at midnight on March 28 and finishes midnight on April 4.