River Street needs clear run
By ADAM HICKS
BALLINA trainer Sue Birney is keen to see her starters get a clean run at Grafton today after interference kept her winless at the Ballina Cup meeting.
River Street carries good form into the $7000 Coastal Views Handicap (1400m) having run second in three of it last four starts.
Unlucky in its last run in a Handicap (1300m) on Ballina Cup day, River Street finished second by a length to Seen Im ($2.50) after being checked 400m out.
"He's been racing well but he got into a bit of trouble just before the corner (in the Handicap) otherwise he would've been a lot closer," Birney said.
"One of the other horses lost its iron and it started a chain reaction of interference."
Despite the knock, River Street ($8) ran on well and was closing on Seen Im toward the post.
Today's Handicap will see him step up a further 100m, but Birney said the extra distance wouldn't hurt him.
"He won at the Gold Coast over the distance (in July)," she said.
"He'll race alright. I can't see why he won't race well."
Northern Rivers champion jockey Joshua Jones will stick with the gelding for the fourth straight race.
"He (Josh) hasn't done anything wrong and he's got the form on the board," Birney said.
Birney's second runner in the Ballina Cup day Handicap, Latino, was also checked during the race and after starting a $6-second-favourite finished a disappointing seventh.
Today Latino will be ridden by Michael Heagney in the $7000 The Daily Examiner Classifieds Handicap (1600m) out of barrier 12.
"They all should race well," she said.
Birney's final runner for the day, Red Abernant goes into the $7000 The Daily Examiner Clarence Life Handicap (1200m) with surprising form.
Red Abernant, a $17 long shot in the Ballina Cup day Handicap (1250m) ran a gallant third despite having its run blocked for most of the home straight.
When it got a clean passage 50m out, it bolted in to finish one-and-a-quater lengths behind Huddle.
"I'm not a person who likes to brag before the fact," Birney said.
"Write ups before the race don't mean much to me.
"I'd rather see it after they win."