Big money offers for local horses

Jockey Peter Graham.

Jockey Peter Graham.

The big money offers—seven figure ones—have been rolling in to buy the Mid North Coast’s two promising three-year- old geldings Victorem and Awesome Pluck.

They were made prior and after the two made their appearance in Rosehill trials and in races at Royal Randwick two Saturdays ago.

Both gallopers are trained at Port Macquarie by Jenny Graham and are owned by some of her loyal owners who have had racehorses with her for decades.

Victorem is raced by Graham’s partner Shane Conroy, her mother Janice Avery, Kempsey’s Rhonda and Peter Bannon, along with breeder Mark Owens, his wife, Lee, Phil Pye, Sandra Cain, Peter Thompson, Kevin Owens, Jerome Carey, Justin Lanyon, Matt Shipway, Michael Bright and Barry Pepper, from Coffs Harbour and Brisbane.

Graham was lucky to secure the I Am Invincible gelding which had a bid of $70,000 knocked back from a Hong Kong interest in favour of keeping it in Australia, she negotiating to buy the gelding for $60,000 while sitting with the breeder at the sales.

Awesome Pluck was bought by Wauchope businessman Dale Miller for $68,000 and both hotses have paid their way with prizemoney so far.

Being BOBS gallopers Victorem picked up a bonus on top of prizemoney in winning at Royal Randwick whereas the third money for Awesome Pluck in a $100,000 race meant about $60,000 was earned by the two.

Victorem’s dam is Playful Miss, a winner of four races when trained by Graham.

Connections are flattered by the big offers but their intention is for them to continue racing in Australia and for them to enjoy the ride.

Graham said the owners are excited to at last have promising racehorses they can watch and enjoy—their dreams have been realised.

By selling them, there are capital gains implications which takes some of the gloss off the offers.

Graham has one ambition for both of them and that is to race in the $150,000 Mid North Coast Racing Association’s qualifier for the country final at The Championships. The qualifier is at Port Macquarie Racecourse on February 18 and the final in early April at Royal Randwick.

Her biggest problem is to find suitable races before the heat and then after it, should they qualify, to keep them in top form over many months.

No sign of trouble so far

It is not often that an owner who has sold a racehorse rings the purchaser to relate the galloper’s problems.

But that is what happened when Port Macquarie trainer Neil Godbolt bought recent Taree winner, five-year- old gelding Real Son Of A Gun.

Godbolt bought the advertised gelding from Melbourne for about $12,000 and is head of a syndicate with Bob Holland, Brian Burgmann and a group from Steeline at Port.

“Its form was okay in Melbourne,” Godbolt said.

Real Son Of A Gun was having its fourth run for Godbolt when it scored a head win at odds of $9.

“After I bought it the former owner rang me and said he was worried about a tendon with the horse.

“He had been monitoring the injury but because it wasn’t racing, he ran out of money to keep it going, so decided to sell it.”

Godbolt said he was taking the precaution of bandaging the suspect leg for 24 hours a day and there was no sign of trouble so far.

Career change pays dividends 

Newcastle trainer Jason Deamer took up training after getting too heavy being a jockey and he has made a good fist of his new profession, especially in bringing gallopers to the Mid North Coast to race.

His latest winner at Taree was three-year- old gelding Testaview, it making up for an unlucky nose defeat at the track at the previous meeting in romping to a nearly 4.5 lengths victory. A syndicate headed by James Lovegrove paid $14,500 for Testaview at the Scone Sales and the win took its prizemoney to $20,000 at only its fifth run.

But it had been a good week for Deamer who had two wins at Scone and one at Tuncurry before this win.

My next preview will be of Manning Valley Race Club’s Harrington Cup TAB meeting on Thursday, January 4, in the Wednesday edition.

An early Christmas present 

The shackles were off for a Christmas feast after jockey Raymond Spokes fasted to ride the Hydra Hose Summer Cup winner at Taree on Sunday.

“He will be full as ten men and will eat as much as he can,” Coffs Harbour trainer Brett Bellamy said after five-year- old mare Southern Flight ($5.50 to $3.50 favourite) scored by nearly two lengths over 1250m.

He said the jockey rarely gets below 55kgs but on this occasion slimmed down for the 54.5kgs ride.

“He will have Christmas with the family and there will be no track work on Boxing Day for him.”

Spokes put in the ride of the meeting by having the mare poised one back on the outside before unleashing a paralysing burst to beat Newcastle’s geldings All Summer Long and Tabrobane.

Local hope Glitra was posted three wide early and then was never on the track to finish sixth in a forget run.

Bellamy said he was “appreciative of a nice early kill” in getting the good odds about his mare.

He has only had her for four starts, one of them for a third in a Highway Handicap at Rosehill on November 4.

The mare will now be aimed at the $60,000 Queen Of The North Handicap over 1200m at Port Macquarie where she has raced well previously.

Chairman of the Manning Valley Race Club, Greg Coleman, said the win of Southern Flight was “impressive” and he thanked Bellamy for his support of the club and its races.

The Prime News 2YO Maiden Handicap was a battle from start to finish with the upperhand going to Port Macquarie filly Nashian ($3.10), trained by Marc Quinn for owners Corey and Rachael Dunn from Budgewoi.