Coast to Coast - Top Cup field
By GRAHAME TIMBRELL
LEADING South Coast trainer Bede Murray could be heading to Lismore after nominating Captain Venturi for the $25,000 Harvey Norman Big Maiden (1200m) on Cup day next Thursday. Murray, who has trained a string of top gallopers including the recently retired Victory Vein, will decide whether to send Captain Venturi north after weights are issued. Captain Venturi has raced four times for three placings, one at Wyong during his previous preparation and twice this time in at Kembla Grange. Meanwhile, Gold Coast trainer Gerald Ryan has nominated the regally-bred Octazure (by Octagonal) for the maiden. Octazure has not raced since April but ran a close second in a trial on the Gold Coast on August 31 and is certain to be forward in condition for the Maiden. The four-year-old has raced four times for two placings, one each at Eagle Farm and Doomben. The first day of the cup carnival on Sunday will feature the $20,000 Lismore Workers Club Rousillon Handicap (1516m) with a field of 15 accepting, including Casino Cup winner Sundae Jester. Caloundra trainer Toby Hall will make his first visit to the Northern Rivers for many years when he starts Tobiana in the Rousillon and Ingelligently in the Workers Golf Class 2 Hcp (1000m). Both will be ridden by leading Gold Coast jockey Chris Whiteley. "I had a runner in the Ballina Cup many years ago but that was the last time I was down your way," Hall said. "The Rousillon suits Tobiana perfectly and we want to get a few wins behind her. "Eventually she will go to stud but the owners are in no hurry to retire her." Tobiana, a winner at Eagle Farm in January, has had only three starts for Hall since being transferred to his stable. And he has suggested that her last start seventh at Doomben on September 8 should be forgotten. "She slipped at the start and was three lengths behind the second last horse in the early part of the race," Hall said. "She got home well and ran a really good last 600 metres."