“Yippee Hi Ho” greeted the return to form of Port Macquarie gelding Hippy High Ho winning the $25,000 Coopernook Hotel Hannam Vale Cup (1614m) at Manning Valley Race Club’s TAB meeting on Monday.
It was a daring ride by jockey Belinda Hodder, who was the subject of the wrath of trainer Neil Godbolt on her ride on the five-year- old gelding at its previous start when fifth at Tuncurry.
Hippy High Ho was hampered on jumping at Tuncurry and then was posted wide. But on this occasion, Hodder took no chances in sending Hippy High Ho ($10) to an easy lead to then dictate to the winning post for a just under a length win from Warwick Farm’s Hirokin and Newcastle favourite Zigamore.
“I won’t give her a pay after that ride,” a happy Godbolt said.
The gelding was the second of two wins for the trainer, the other being Real Son Of A Gun ($9).
The winning double prompted Godbolt to say he now would be able to have a lemonade instead of water after a lean period of winners.
Hippy High Ho won over 1500m on his home track three starts back and was able to relax in a good rhythm in front.
“He is the type of horse you have to kid to…he is no good in a dog fight,” said Godbolt.
It was the gelding’s sixth win for Godbolt and his fellow owners Grant McKeand, Ken Shepherd and Chris Kiers who bred him from their quality mare Hippy’s Sister who won three races in Sydney.
Godbolt, Brian Burgmann, Bob Holland and a big syndicate from Steeline at Port delighted to see five-year- old gelding Real Son Of A Gun score a head win at its fourth start since being bought in Melbourne for $12,000 in the Con Cowan’s Budgeree Holsteins Maiden Handicap over 1412m.
Jockey Terry Treichell had the gelding back on the fence, managed to extricate it through a bunch of gallopers to near the outside on the turn, to then finish fast to get up in the last stride in a brilliant ride.
“The horses’s runs were okay in Melbourne but the owner ran out of money and had to sell it,” Godbolt said.
Taree trainer Ross Dawson may have had better luck with a senior rider on Lippy And Pearls (4 th in cup) but there were no worries with his grey flash, eight-year- old Clune’s Rocket ($3.50), which led all the way for apprentice jockey Chloe Baker in the L J Hooker Wingham Benchmark 55 Handicap over 1412m.
The gelding won the Hannam Vale Cup three years ago but was more suited in this race to notch his seventh win, fifth at the track, at start 62.
Dawson was very happy with the gelding’s competitive nature and Baker added that 1400m, its home track and the nice weight after her two kilo claim, helped the win.
Taree trainer Ross Stitt believes three-year- old gelding Editors ($2.80) is headed for better races after a dominant win with Scott Thurlow in the saddle in the Johns River Tavern Maiden Handicap over 1257m.
It was only having its second start for him, its first being an unlucky third in a $40,000 Showcase Maiden at Mudgee on December 1.
“He is a BOBS horse and has nearly paid his way, he costing $22,000.”
Stitt owns 90 percent of the galloper and the other 10 percent was taken up by the 12 Lengths syndicate of 10 friends managed by the son of race club chairman, Greg Coleman.
Visiting trainers didn’t fare as well as past meetings but still managed three winners.
They were Newcastle trainer Jason Deamer with Testaview ($1.45), Stan ($7.50) from the Muswellbrook stable of Jan Bowen and Wyong trainer Kim Waugh’s Sleepwalker ($3.20).
Racing returns to Taree on Sunday for the big Christmas TAB meeting where Santa will be giving presents out.
Look for my preview in Friday’s editions.