Jon Grisedale will ride the Stephen Lee-trained Alatora at Ballina on Monday. Photo Sam Flanagan
Jon Grisedale will ride the Stephen Lee-trained Alatora at Ballina on Monday. Photo Sam Flanagan

Busy week of racing starts at Ballina

BALLINA Jockey Club stages a seven-race TAB meeting on Monday while Lismore Turf Club has a seven-race TAB meeting on Thursday.

The Ballina meeting had 68 acceptors with the feature race being the $20,000 The Mission @ Aquis Farm Open Handicap (1000m).

Three last-start winners are engaged at Ballina: the John Shelton-trained Jules Spirit, Stephen Lee’s Alatora and Jim Jarvis’ Bolghari.

The Lismore Turf Club received 104 nominations today.

While the club has received good nominations for the Thursday meeting, it also extended nominations for two races — an open 2100m handicap and a benchmark 58 (1516m.)

Ten stayers entered for the 2100m including last-start winner Dashing Special (Barry Baldwin) and Ballina trainers, Lee and Ethan Ensby, also have runners.

Lee starts Polemic, a six-year-old gelding freshened after a ninth at Eagle Farm last time out, and Ensby has Winkler, a six-year-old gelding son of Rip Van Winkle.

Winkler has won four of his 35 starts and won one of his six Lismore starts.

Meanwhile, Grafton’s Clarence River Jockey Club will run tomorrow’s Ulmarra Cup day without crowds again but hopeful that might change as restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic relax.

It could lead to the CRJC’s Tooheys XXXX Gold July Racing Carnival having crowds if current restrictions are relaxed.

That carnival is worth a record $1,470,000 in 2020.

In Sydney, owners of horses running at Saturday’s Randwick meeting will be allowed to attend if they pre-register with the Australian Turf Club.

It means Northern Rivers trainers, such as Matt Dunn and Paul Smith who have starters at Randwick, will be able to attend with their owners.

Dunn starts Ramornie Handicap hopeful Snitz tomorrow and Smith has Lolly Dolly in a Highway Handicap.

All owners of horses at Saturday’s Randwick meeting will be invited to attend under strict NSW Government Public Health Orders which outline new protocols and procedures at Sydney racecourses.

Owners who have an accepted runner on Saturday will receive an email with instructions on how to book a ticket.

CRJC chief executive Michael Beattie is hopeful that move might filter down to country clubs such as his, however he does know Saturday’s Randwick meeting is “very much a one-off”.

“The way I understand it, the Government will make a determination after Saturday on how well the ATC handle it,” Beattie said.