It was smiles all around after Sarasota Bay won the Coopernook Hotel Hannam Vale Cup Publicans Purse, a 1600 metre annual highlight at Taree last week.
Established in the late 1970s, the Hannam Vale Cup meet is among the feature programs of the Manning Valley Race Club's annual calendar, its 2019 winner was trained and part-owned by Kempsey conditioner Roy Franklin, and ridden by Jenny Duggan.
It was the second successive win for the five-year-old mare by the Western Australian based All American, who defeated veteran local galloper Clunes Rocket (by Youthful Legs), and Paul Perry's Aruba (Choisir) in third spot.
Port Macquarie's Liam Blanch, 18, rode his second career win when guiding Lobban Hood to victory in the Moorland Cottage and Gallery Benchmark 58 Handicap.
"She cost me nothing," part owner and Taree trainer Bob Barnes said after the win.
Bob and his wife Val breed and race their own horses, including the four time winner Lobban Hood, from their Wingham based property Lobban Lodge.
"I won a free service to Dane Fever at Port Macquarie (several years ago)."
While Lobban Hood is by Danehill sire Dane Fever, the Barnes' also bred and raced the six-year-old's winning Filante dam Jevali Lobban.
Taree born, but prominent Scone based trainer Rod Northam, made a successful trip to the coast following the win of his second starter Mo's Glory, a three-year-old by former Coolmore Stud shuttler Uncle Mo.
Mo's Glory was the first of two winners ridden by Northam's star apprentice Reece Jones, his other being San Marco.
A four-year-old gelding by Smart Missile, San Marco is trained by Peter Ball, who also celebrated his 80th birthday. Being deputised at the races by daughter Gaye, her father prepares his three horses at Gladstone.
He may have been unplaced, however Scotty Be Gotti and his strapper Pip Callaughan, took out the Strappers Award honoured to them for being among the Hannam Vale Cup runners.
A nine-year-old gelding by Home On The Grange, Scotty Be Botti (already a winner of eight races) is prepared by Pip's husband David at Tuncurry.
Sponsor and donor of the $100 cash prize was Upper Lansdowne resident Linda Grono, a former track-rider and jockey in the UK. Incidentally, Pip was also a jockey racing over the jumps in Scotland before arriving in Australia.
Trapeze Artist nomination to go under hammer
The Inglis Chairman's Sale - scheduled for Riverside Stables on Friday evening May 3, has had a substantial boost to its offering, with a nomination to Snitzel horse Trapeze Artist, with all proceeds going to injured jockey Tye Angland.
A four-time Group 1 winner, Trapeze Artist is set to retire to stand at the famed Widden Stud later this year.
A former first-class and popular jockey, Angland was injured in a race fall at Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong in November and has since been declared a quadriplegic.
"I'm very proud that Tye rode Trapeze Artist for us (and family) and did such a wonderful job with the horse," Trapeze Artist's owner Bert Vieira said.
"What happened to him with the fall, and the effect long-term on his young family, this is just a little thank you from the Vieira family."
The Chairman's Sale also contains star mares including Noondie (dam of Group 1 winner Booker), and Group 1 winners Srikandi (earned $2.3 million), Norzita, and Aloisia.
Noel Hennessy, believed to be the last person to see and handle Australia's most influential stallion of last century, Star Kingdom, recently died at age 80 in the Upper Hunter Valley town of Denman.
The Irish-bred Star Kingdom spent his entire stud life at Baramul Stud in the Widden Valley, and died in April 1967. Joining the Baramul staff in 1957, a stud then owned by Sydney solicitor Alfred Ellison, Mr Hennessy as stud groom cared for Star Kingdom for the last nine years of his life.
Mr Hennessy looked after Todman, the son of Star Kingdom who won the inaugural Golden Slipper Stakes in 1957, when he stood at Baramul, and the brilliantly fast Biscay, as a foal and as a sire when he briefly stood at the property. Among other horses under Mr Hennessy's care when reared at Baramul include Todman's 1964 Golden Slipper winning son Eskimo Prince.