ON fire Port Macquarie trainer Neil Godbolt can add to his impressive tally of wins in the past week with a winning double at Taree Wingham Race Club's eight-race TAB meeting at Bushland Drive Racecourse, Taree, on Tuesday.
The trainer saddles up last start Kempsey winner Get On The Grange and runner-up at this course last start, Rock 'N' Rich, of which he says:"Both should run good races."
Godbolt has had a memorable week with two-year-old gelding Little Jatz winning at Grafton last Sunday and then having a winning double with Delagos and La Hdood on his home track on Tuesday.
Four-year-old gelding Get On The Grange is being groomed to be a middle distance galloper and despite coming back from a win over 1450m at Kempsey when resuming from a spell, it has the right ingredients to score in the Saxby's Ginger Beer Benchmark 70 Handicap over 1250m at Taree.
"The race is probably short of his best but he has to have a run to get him ready for a mile race at Grafton (February 17).
"There is good pace in the race and he should be getting home strongly."
Interesting runner is superbly bred six-year-old gelding Hamel (Redoute's Choice-Regimental Gal) which is having its first start for 762 days for Scone trainer Greg Bennett.
It had only 12 starts for three wins and three placings before being transferred from the Melbourne stable of Danny O'Brien so that Bennett could treat the galloper for an apparent stress fracture in the back end.
"I sent it straight to the paddock for complete rest and it trialled well enough for a comeback start with a win in a Scone barrier trial,"said Bennett.
"The injury has taken a long time to heal and this track is a good kick-off point to resume racing again."
Another danger to the two is locally trained six-year-old gelding Al's Gold from the Bob Milligan stable,the galloper being most unlucky when held up in traffic at a vital stage over 1400m at Ballina on January 19 when beaten 2.8 lengths.
The former city winner should be steaming home late.Godbolt will get an idea whether his conviction that Rock 'n' Rich will handle the step up to 1250m is right when it competes in the Pepsi Max Class 3 Handicap.
Its three wins have been up to 1100m and Godbolt said: "The horse gives an indication it will run out the extra distance now that he is more settled in his races."
It will be no easy task with Taree three-year-old gelding Roman Account scoring at its past two start for Milligan and four-year-old Wauchope gelding Clunes Rocket being fitter after a good resuming second for new trainer Grant Prosser.Roman Account settled last under same race rider Robert Thompson at Tamworth and was responsible for a big, easy two lengths win over 1400m last start and this field should suit.
Taree trainer Ross Stitt is confident of an improved race by Count The Chimes in the Saxby's Diet Ginger Beer Benchmark 60 Handicap over 2000m and is sweating on a start for third emergency three-year-old Lonhro filly Scruff in the Pepsi Next Class 1 & Maiden Plate over 1600m.
"Count The Chimes ran into a couple of dead-ends last start, he has pulled up well, and is stronger over the extra distance."If he strikes his old form, he wins," Stitt said.
He said Scruff only needed even breaks to win but if she doesn't get a start she will probably go to Newcastle for a race next start. Stitt is looking forward to last season "find", four-year-old Single Spirit and promising Shazza's Bubbles competing in a barrier trial at the end of the meeting as both have bright campaigns ahead.
One of the better bets could be resuming Ebony Rein, trained at Coffs Harbour by Terry Walshe, the winner of its past two races before a spell, in the Saxby's Sarsparilla Class 2 Handicap over 1000m, a heat of the Rising Star apprentices races.
Doug Ryan's selections:
Race 1: Get On The Grange 1, Hamel 2, Al's Gold 3.
Race 2: Adria 1, Astonished 2, Big Medicine 3.
Race 3: Ebony Rein 1, Tainted Love 2, Handel With Care 3.
Race 4: Hot Topic 1, Shalama 2, Can't Skate 3.
Race 5: Count The Chimes 1, Our Clementine 2 ,Red Celtique 3.
Race 6: Rock 'n' Rich 1, Roman Account 2, Clunes Rocket 3.
Race 7: La Luna 1, Taken 2, La Rive Droite 3.
Race 8: Scruff (emergency) 1, Oeuvre 2, Winarvi 3, Flying Snip 4