Homegrown Cup hope
By STEVE SPINKS
IT would be a proud moment for John Singh if Punjab Lad takes out today's $10,000 Coopers Shoot Bangalow Cup (1300m) at the Ballina Jockey Club race meeting.
After all, the six-year-old was born and bred in the Bangalow area on Singh's Coorabell farm and Singh is still the owner.
Singh owns Punjab Lad's mother Dahreen and the sprinter is out of Groucho.
"We started off racing him as a three-year-old," Singh said.
"He won his maiden at Coffs Harbour over 800 metres by six-and-a-half-lengths."
Since then, Punjab Lad has won two races at Ipswich and been unlucky at Doomben and Eagle Farm.
"He's been in work for five months now with Sue Birney," Singh said.
"She's doing a very good with him and we're very happy."
But is Punjab Lad ready for the 1300 metres?
"We don't know if he will suit the 1300 or not," Singh said.
"It worries us a bit because the most distance he's won at was 1100m at Lismore."
Gold Coast jockey Dean Tanti has been secured for the ride and at early betting the Bangalow horse was at $5.00.
However, Punjab Lad will be up against some tough opposition.
The favourite is the Ballina-based Good Timing which won the Newmarket Handicap on Ballina Cup day. The Kevin Nipperess-trained horse has been in solid form going into the today's meeting.
The Bangalow Cup is know in its sixth year and growing in popularity.
Buses will operate between Bangalow and the course from 11am, with buses going to the Bangalow Hotel and the Bangalow Bowling and Sports Club.
All sorts of prizes can be won during the day for the best dressed, best hat, the lucky racebook and the boot toss where you can win a pair of Mongrel workboots.
Race-day packages are available for $50 from the hotel or club and include the return bus trip, entry into Ballina Racecourse and the Bangalow Marquee, where complimentary food and refreshments will be provided through out the day.