Racing to win despite restrictions
“WHEN you are travelling at 60kmh up the straight you are probaby not noticing the lack of crowds.”
Lismore Turf Club secretary-manager Scott Jones said the six race meeting the club is hosting on Saturday will be the first they have run since the new COVID-19 restrictions have come into force.
Jones said he expects the day to be quite different for him and his staff, but he feels that for the trainers and jockeys – and the punters watching remotely – they will be more focused on the action on the track.
“The standard across the races is good, there’s some tough races to pick as horses are so closely matched,” he said.
“Racing NSW have been very good with quarantine process at the races, the stewards have a thermometer to take temperatures, there’s hand sanitiizer everywhere.”
Lismore trainer Daniel Bowen said he is hopeful a combination of bloodstock and jockey Matthew McGuren will be a winning force.
“Tumut River likes a dry track and has drawn a good barrier over 1000m in race 1,” he said
“With the leading rider aboard I hope to be in the finish.”
Bowen said in race 3, Chiaki should do well.
“He’s won three times on this course so with a little luck from the barrier I hope he can hit form,” he said.
“Lucap in race 5 is new to the stable, so is nice and fresh, if he can hit the line strongly I hope he can win a couple of races and Locust has not raced for a while.”
Local trainer Sharon Pepper said mare Laoban Tai Tai has a chance in the fifth race, the Southside Hot Bread Benchmark 58 Handicap over 1200m, despite drawing barrier 11.
“She has drawn the visitors car park,” Pepper said.
“Brooke Stower is riding and she’s a good girl and a very good jockey.”
Trainer Owen Glue said he is hoping Astrophysics in Race 1, can come back after a 30 week spell.
“I’m blessed to be in a profession I am still able to work in,” he said.
Glue said he is “a sceptic before every race.”
“But when the horse gets up I feel like a milion dollars.”