Fresh from receiving his ninth successive Bart Cummings Medal at the NSW Racing Night Of Champions awards, leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller secured his first win at the Mid North Coast town of Taree, when Hogmanay took the $100,000 Stacks Law Firm Taree Gold Cup on Sunday.
Also the first Taree Cup win for popular Sydney hoop Tommy Berry, Hogmanay was represented by several trackside owners including Sydney media personality Richard Callander and stable connection Mark Peters.
Hitting form when winning at Rosehill at his last start, Hogmanay adds a new feature race to the stud record of his champion sire, Lonhro.
Interestingly, the second and third cup placegetters Mongolian Wolf (second) and Cogliere (third) are both six-year-old gelded sons of Pluck, who stands at Vinery Stud, Scone.
Five times winner Mongolian Wolf is trained by Kris Lees at Newcastle, while the Holbrook Thoroughbreds', Scone, bred Cogliere (six wins) is prepared at Port Macquarie by Marc Quinn.
The Taree Cup is among the NSW country cups to benefit from the recent array of Racing NSW prizemoney boosts.
Local trainer Mike Byers won Taree's initial $50,000 Country Magic Race, restricted to country trainers and another recent Racing NSW initiative.
Partnered by Coffs Harbour based Raymond Stokes, Byers' Casino Prince gelding Casino Mondial took the major country prize.
Second to Casino Mondial, was Natural Image, trained by another local Ross Stitt. Earlier on the program the veteran conditioner teamed with Cessnock based riding legend Robbie Thompson, to win with three-year-old Oh So Hot.
As Oh So Hot is closely related to a former outstanding stable galloper Southern Shimmer, Stitt outlaid $32,000 for the Sizzling filly at Inglis' Classic Yearling Sale last year.
Thompson made it back-to-back wins aboard Hinchinbrook mare Luddenham Lass, for Wyong trainer Jeff Englebrecht.
Hawkesbury trainer Jamie Thomsen made a successful trip north after Duporth gelding Red Notice won the Taree Kia Manning Lightning.
Louth hits 5077
There may have been wild winds and dust at the recent 61st annual Louth races, but about 5077 people turned out to see rising apprentice hoop Wendy Peel aboard Austin, tearaway in the straight to easily take the $15,000 Landmark Walsh Hughes (Bourke) Louth Cup.
Apprenticed to Sue Grills at Tamworth, Peel won the Louth Cup for well-known Nyngan based and well travelled trainer Rodney Robb.
It was only the jockey's second appearance at Louth, the major stake adding to her already impressive statewide country feature successes.
While Wendy was the star of the 2019 Louth Cup, western districts apprentice Clayton Gallagher was the star jockey of the afternoon, riding four or the seven race winners, three of the them for Robb.
Supreme Legend (by Redoute's Choice sire Supreme Class) was the pair's first win, the George Tanks, Parkes raced gelding successfully following his third placing at Dubbo at the galloper's only other race start.
Provincial based hoop Anthony Cavallo rode two winners - Pullman Brown (by Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown) for Parkes trainer George Wright junior, and aboard Uncle Mo galloper Conquest.
The gelding was trained at Forbes by Billy Hayes, who was a proud man being also a part-owner, along with his daughter and strapper Natalie and Grenfell's Lleiton Purdie.
A close second to Conquest was the Peel ridden and Robb prepared Work And Chat, a home-bred and raced gelding for long-time Baradine farmer Denis Todd of "Wheatfields".
Work And Chat is by Denis' stallion Chat Up Line, an unraced son of former Arrowfield Stud shuttle stallion Falbrav (by Northern Dancer's Fairy King).
Creating a new Australian record for winners (184) and stakes winners (28 of 40 races) last season, Australia's "hottest sire" I Am Invincible also stretched his tentacles to Louth, siring the Moree prepared eight-year-old I Am Dynamic, winner of the Arrowfield Stud Benchmark 58 Handicap.
I Am Dynamic has won eight races for his Scone breeder Barry McDonald of Dartbrook Downs, who races the gelding along with Moree enthusiast John Brown.