Three top chances

THREE gallopers which fought out the finish when they last met could again run the trifecta in the Wingham Beef Exports Cup over 1412m at Taree Wingham Race Club's big nine-race holiday TAB meeting at Taree today.

They are the winner on that occasion, seven-year-old mare Lotsa Lobban, fellow Taree gelding Island Dane (second) and Port Macquarie gelding Overshadows.

And it wouldn't surprise to see them again in the same order at the finish of the feature race.

Lotsa Lobban, trained by breeder-owner Robert Barnes, gave him a 67th birthday present when scoring easily by two lengths for Wauchope jockey Belinda Hodder nearly a fortnight ago.

The 24-year-old jockey has been on top for seven of the mare's eight wins and she is in superb form with a winning double at the pre-Christmas meeting at Taree and then bagged three winners at Wauchope Jockey Club's Woop Woop Cup meeting on Boxing Day.

Barnes is in no doubt that she is the only jockey in harmony with the mare and this was shown last start when new gear had the mare settle early before unleashing a powerful burst, unlike many of the galloper's wins which saw her leading or thereabouts early.

"She knows the horse," Barnes said.

Hodder said that Lotsa Lobban "let down enormous" last start and the extra weight shouldn't stop the combination from going close to winning again.

Eight-year-old gelding Island Dane, trained on the track by Nick Chambers, has a Taree, Wingham and Krambach Cups among 12 victories and 16 placings from 74 starts and prizemoney of $154,000.

But the sting out of the ground is his best hope although he did run an honest race when second behind Lotsa Lobban before a sixth to Abitofado over 1500m at Port on December 17, possibly backing up too soon.

The gelding could be ready to fire here with the break.

The Tas Morton-trained Overshadows has also been finding it hard to win although the gelding is always thereabouts and was only less than a half-length behind Island Dane last start at Taree.

Able to cause an upset is Coffs Harbour galloper Erinsea,trained by Brett Dodson, which is capable of running a bold race fresh-up from a spell.

Several preparations ago Erinsea was high-flying with a string of wins but hasn't shown that type of form since.

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