Ballina trainer hopes for home success

EYEING SUCCESS: Ballina trainer Stephen Lee, shown here with one of his stable Urnfield, has high hopes for his four entries in races tomorrow on his home track.
EYEING SUCCESS: Ballina trainer Stephen Lee, shown here with one of his stable Urnfield, has high hopes for his four entries in races tomorrow on his home track. Jay Cronan

LONG in the tooth it may be, but Ballina trainer Stephen Lee is hopeful one of his runners tomorrow can provide him with welcome success on home soil.

Cos In Court goes for Lee in the 1610m Tintenbar General Store Benchmark 65 Handicap, the feature race at tomorrow's Ballina Jockey Club meeting.

The nine-year-old veteran is by the far the most experienced of the 10 starters in the race, having chalked up 72 career outings so far.

While he admits the bay gelding's racing days are numbered, Lee is hopeful Cos In Court can chalk up at least one more triumph before calling it quits.

"He is coming towards the end of his career," Lee said. "I think he has probably only got a few more starts (left).

"I think he may have a win or two left in him. He should be a good each-way bet."

Apprentice jockey Cassandra Schmidt will be hoping she can bring a change in fortunes for the veteran campaigner.

Cos In Court has 22 placings to its name but has not won since a victory at Port Lincoln over 1250m almost a year ago.

Lee has only been overseeing the horse for a short period, having been supplied the racer by clients in Melbourne.

He said the horse had shown it had some races left to go.

"When I saw him working, and his racing, I was encouraged," he said.

"I thought once he got a bit of a distance he might go.

"I am still fairly confident he can go well."

More than Irish, trained by Grafton's Mark Lynch, could be the best bet for punters.

After five months on the sidelines, the five-year-old placed at Ballina over 1000m on its return in September before winning at Grafton last month over 1400m.

It will be a busy day for Lee, who has four entries in the seven-race meeting.

Schmidt also will take the reins for Lee's charge GiddyupJock in the 1260m Evans Head Bombers CG&E Benchmark 55 Handicap.

The five-year-old has placed twice at the track in the last two months but has not raced further than 1200m so far in 21 career outings.

"We think he is ready for the extra distance," Lee said.

"He has been running pretty well and should be a good each-way chance."

Gates open at 10am, with the first race at 11am.

Topics:  ballina racecourse, tintenbar general store benchmark 65 handicup



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