Gosford gelding claims Hopkins-Livermore Cup

Ultimate Decision, trained by Taree's Ross Stitt and ridden by Matthew McGuren,     took out the Page Eleven Marketing and Design Taree Benchmark 60 Handicap.
Ultimate Decision, trained by Taree's Ross Stitt and ridden by Matthew McGuren, took out the Page Eleven Marketing and Design Taree Benchmark 60 Handicap.

Eight-year-old Gosford gelding Randiki was on his best behaviour in scoring in a blanket finish to the $32,000 Winning Post Function Centre Hopkins-Livermore Cup (1400m) at Taree Wingham Race Club’s second day of its Taree Cup carnival on Friday.

“He is one of the smartest to put a saddle on…he thinks a lot,” said trainer Kylie Gavenlock after jockey Chris O’Brein virtually lifted the gelding over the line to score by a short head.

Cessnock mare Annandale Lass, trained by Dean Jackson, was second with a long neck to Broadmeadow gelding Anecdote, from the stable of Benjamin Smith, with a nose to $31 hope, Rosehill trainer Gerald Ryan’s Rosettas Whey.

Gavenlock said Randiki ($11.40, paid on TAB) was hard to place in races “as he has to be in the right frame of mind.”

“He has too many brains for a racehorse…he wants to be the trainer.”

O’Brien backed up her observation in saying of Randiki: “He does his own thing.”

Helping his win was that early in the race “they didn’t muck around up front and my horse gets back.”

Randiki had one start for Randwick trainer Ron Quinton and in 41 starts since for Gavenlock it has notched seven wins and 14 placings for nearly $171,000.

Taree trainer Ross Stitt had a change of luck from a run of placings to grab a winning treble, one of them by protest.

First past the post was $1.80 favourite colt Eagleworks, trained at Newcastle by Paul Perry and ridden by Matthew Paget, a short head in front of Stitt’s former Victorian gelding Syrah ($3.20), a mount for Scott Thurlow, in the R and L Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Maiden over 1250m.

But nearing the line Eagleworks moved out and bumped Syrah on two occasions, Thurlow having to stop riding close to the line.

Stewards had no hesitation in upholding the protest due to the interference as Stitt’s wife Winsome, owner of the gelding, waited with friends.

Aptly named Oh No Not Again ($3), a four-year- old mare owned by Stitt, chairman of the race club Greg Coleman and Greg Brassell, was positioned mid-field early before jockey Robert Thompson would her up down the outside for a half-length win the next race, the Taree Fisherman’s Co-Operative Maiden Plate over 1250m.

A win and nine placings from 19 starts, the last two as runner-up, had an overdue win added to the list when five-year- old gelding Ultimate Decision ($3) lasted for a long head win for owners Stitt and Doug MacLean in the Page Eleven Marketing and Design Taree Benchmark 60 Handicap over 2000m.

MacLean said the Matthew McGuren ridden galloper was “Ross’s pick…he liked him and it cost $5000”, prizemoney now nearly $60,000.

Stitt was most happy to get his three winners, saying:”It has been a famine of late.”

A length verdict went to $1.50 , three-year- old filly Princess Lottie, trained at Cessnock by Luke Thomas and ridden by Belinda Hodder, over $8.10 a place mare

Tarlee Lane, trained at Taree by Bob Haire, in the Kleen Team Cleaning Taree Class 1 Handicap over 1000m on the good rated Bushland Drive Racecourse.

Hodder kept up her good strike rate in posting her seventh win so far this season in travelling widely for rides.

Wyong trainer Jeff Englebrecht reckoned a confident, strong ride by three kilo claiming apprentice Kellie Holding resulted in the 1.5 lengths win by his five-year- old mare We’re Smokin in the Hicks Business Services Taree Country Class 1 Handicap over 1600m.

Five-year- old local mare Capital Magic ($14.70) gave head syndicate owner Peter Killen, his fellow owners and trainer Bob Milligan plenty to smile about with a fast- finishing short half-head win for jockey Andrew Gibbons in the Taree Leagues Club Bistro and Café Class Two Handicap over 1400m.

“Gibbons hasn’t ridden many for me and the firm track helped,” said Milligan.

Port Macquarie four-year- old mare Dreamlina ($5.20), trained by Neil Godbolt and ridden by Matthew Paget, was always handy before scoring by a half-length to make it three wins from her past four starts in the Taree Leagues Club Melbourne Cup Eve Calcutta Benchmark 60 Handicap over 1000m.