Cup, great Scott!
By Grahame Timbrell
The Northern Rivers' own Melbourne Cup-winning jockey, Scott Seamer, will ride Concitare in the XXXX Gold Lismore Cup (2100m) tomorrow.
Seamer, who when not riding runs a macadamia nut plantation near Ballina, will also ride the Gerald Ryan-trained Bentley Ess in the Harvey Norman Big Maiden (1200m), Australia's richest Country maiden.
Trainer Bruce Swan decided to run Concitare, the winner of this year's Coffs Harbour Cup, after the giant six-year-old pulled up perfectly from his trip to Newcastle.
The Grafton-based Swan had originally planned to spell Concitare after his Newcastle Cup campaign, in which he finished last. However the horse's recovery forced the trainer to change his mind.
"The horse has pulled up brilliantly since I got him home and there is no reason why he should not start in the cup," Swan said.
"I might even delay his spell further until after the Port Macquarie Cup. I will wait and see how he goes at Lismore first."
Concitare might have finished last in the Newcastle Cup, behind the dead-heaters Carael Boy and High Cee, but he was beaten only 5.5 lengths.
And he copped some of the back-wash from the scrimmage on the turn out of the straight the first time and again lost ground near the 800-metre mark.
"He was running against Group One horses and to be beaten only five-and-a-half lengths after those problems is not a bad effort," Swan said.
Concitare has drawn perfectly in barrier two and Seamer has the luxury of riding a horse that can either race up on the pace or drop back.
Things have also gone Seamer's way in the Big Maiden with Bentley Ess drawing barrier one.
Bentley Ess is a beautifully bred three-year-old colt by Flying Spur from the Sir Tristram mare Bon Cher, which ran second in the 1989 South Australian Oaks.
He has started only twice, for an eighth at Doomben in February and a first-up second over 1200 metres at Ipswich on September 2 after starting favourite.