Now that’s a job well Dunn

November 24, 2016

Feature success: Rising apprentice Regan Bayliss produced a gem of a ride to seal the Ballarat Cup with the Lindsay Park Euroa trained Pilote D'essai on Saturday. Photo: Ben Carter.

Great result: The decision to re-schedule the postponed Benalla Cup to March 25 is a winner. Photo: Libby Price.

Tatura trainer Belinda Dunn was all smiles after Margot’s Boy broke through for his maiden win at Ballarat on Monday.

The son of Turffontein relished the chance to control the race from the lead with Brad Rawiller producing a gem of a ride to thwart Heather Honey by a short half-head at his 13th start.

Rawiller praised the quality of the performance.

‘‘Today we got away clean, once he got to the front we could have gone slower, but I thought he was happy the speed we were going, gave me a nice kick and showed a bit of fight to keep the race,’’ Rawiller said.

Margot’s Boy had finished runner-up twice in his previous 12 starts and the $13000 first-prize cheque lifted his earnings past $27000.

For Dunn, who runs a boutique stable, the success was her first since December 13.

Just on Tatura, early bird tickets are now on sale for next month’s Italian Plate Day.

The popular annual meeting is scheduled for December 11, with organisers developing a family day theme to entertain children and food-themed activities, including a spaghetti-eating competition tipped to sate the appetite of the adults.

We’ll have more on the Italian Plate in the coming weeks.


Seymour Racing Club staged a successful return to racing on Saturday following an absence of 13 months due to track development works.

The works, which cost more than $5million to complete, included a complete reconstruction of the track.

Track manager Brett Thompson spoke to about the new surface that held up well during the seven-race card.

‘‘The old track was totally removed and the new sand profile track has been put back in its place,’’ Thompson said.

‘‘We’ve made the track 5m wider, which will help us throughout the year with our winter racing; it should perform pretty well.

‘‘We’ve also removed the negative camber that was on the track, but all the starts stay in the same position.’’

One of the major talking points from the meeting was the fall of young apprentice Lachlan King, the son of champion hoop Steven.

Lachlan, 17, had been set to ride against his dad for the first time, but was dislodged from Elle’s Maneuver at the 650m mark during race two.

He was ruled out from riding for the rest of the card and despite going to hospital, was discharged on Sunday morning after being cleared of any serious damage.


Benalla trainer Wayne Nichols enjoyed a win at Seymour thanks to Chanceofalifetime in The Long Tan Benchmark 64 Handicap (1100m).

The daughter of Oamaru Force put the writing on the wall with a smart third on her home track first-up on October 24 and surprisingly started $9 ahead of a hard-fought triumph from Tigidig Tigidig.

Chanceofalifetime was ridden to score by apprentice hoop Jess Payne, who ignited her career when based at Benalla with Nichols before moving to Greg Eurell’s Cranbourne stable.


Lindsay Park Euroa enjoyed feature country cup success on Saturday.

A daring ride by apprentice Regan Bayliss paved the way for imported galloper Pilote D’essai to take out the Ballarat Cup.

Jumping from the third-widest barrier in Saturday’s 2200m Listed race, Bayliss had Pilote D’essai in front soon after leaving the straight.

Kicking clear on the home turn, Pilote D’essai ($16) was swishing his tail down the Ballarat straight before recording a two-length victory over Scherzoso ($19), with Manageress ($18) three-quarters of a length away in third.

Bayliss said Pilote D’essai had finally lived up to the potential he had shown the stable in his trackwork.

But more pleasing for Bayliss was to win the $300000 race for Lindsay Park Euroa and the ‘‘bosses’’, David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig.

Bayliss said he was confident of success a long way from home.

‘‘He surprised me how easily he got to the front,’’ Bayliss said.

‘‘As soon as I crossed Rising Romance and we got around the back I steadied up the speed and let him find his rhythm.

‘‘The way he relaxed underneath me I knew he would give a very good kick.

‘‘He was strong through the line and showed the promise that he showed us in the stable.’’

Dabernig said the 2500m Pakenham Cup on December 3 might be an option for Pilote D’essai now he has struck winning form, although the gelding could also be spelled for a shot at richer races next autumn.


The trip from the Goulburn Valley to Wagga proved a fruitful one for trainer Peter Smith when Comrade Ned saluted on Monday.

The son of Soldier’s Tale landed some nice bets after being backed from $41 into $21 before getting the job done in a 1200m maiden.

Comrade Ned was having just his fourth start and looked impressive under the urgings of jockey Michael Travers.

Before leaving Wagga, Shepparton jockey Jake Duffy finished on the wrong side of a photo finish aboard Footmark behind winner Hard Go Jo in a 1600m Class 1/Maiden Plate.


I know it has been a couple of weeks since the announcement, but just wanted to applaud Racing Victoria for the decision to reschedule the Benalla Cup meeting for March 25.

The race was abandoned due to wet weather on September 30, resulting in another date being needed to run the cup.

Despite the prizemoney being cut to $50000 and an amended race distance of 1600m, the race is sure to be the showpiece of a cracking meeting, being run on the same day as the Mornington Cup.

Benalla is one of the best racecourses for viewing that I’ve been to, so hopefully the weather gods smile on the club a couple of weeks out from Easter.


Chris Meehan, the jockey who made headlines when run over by an ambulance earlier this year, has broken his leg again in a trampoline accident.

The Irish rider was in the news in July when the ambulance sent to treat him after a fall at Merano racecourse in Italy reversed over his leg.

Meehan was knocked unconscious in the fall and needed 27 stitches to a gash along his jaw, but those injuries paled into insignificance when the ambulance’s manoeuvre broke his leg.

The rider has spent the summer recovering and was aiming to return to action on the flat, spending the last few weeks riding out again.

But he took a misstep on a trampoline being used as part of his training regime and broke his leg again.

‘‘I was just doing a bit of circuit fitness work and landed on the wrong leg and it snapped in exactly the same place as before,’’ Meehan said.

‘‘When I got out of the cast two months ago, they (doctors) told me if I break my leg again it would be a straight operation.

‘‘I’m going on Thursday morning to have X-rays and to get my cast changed over, so I’ll know a lot more then.

‘‘I’m absolutely gutted — heartbroken, to be fair.’’


Until next week,

Back a winner.

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