Star gelding left in lurch


THE abandonment of yesterday's Lismore race meeting due to the wet weather has hurt Grafton trainer David Campbell.

Campbell's eight-year-old gelding Diamond And Ice was desperately in need of a run at Lismore in order to prepare him for the upcoming Ballina (1600m) and Lismore cups (2100m) in September.

And with only weeks remaining, suitable meetings are thin on the ground.

"It will knock us back a bit," Campbell told The Northern Star.

"He really needed a run over 1500m or 1600m. "There is a race on in Port in a while so I may have to head down that way or I might take him up to a non-metro meeting in Brisbane."

Not only has the weather seen the Lismore meeting cancelled, but the large volume of water lying on the Grafton course means there probably won't be much trackwork done over the next week.

However, Campbell believes the gelding has the class to make a nuisance of himself during the cups next month. "If you can get him dead right on the day he's no slouch," the Grafton trainer said.

"He's won twice over the mile in Melbourne and was only beaten by a length-and-a-half at the South Grafton Cup over a mile.

"He's been unlucky in Brisbane a couple of times and he's a pretty versatile horse. "If you freshen him up a bit he can run over the 1000m as well.

"But I reckon he's better off over the mile to 1700m." Diamond And Ice was the top weight for the Jetstar Gold Coast Titans Open (1516m) yesterday.

The rain kept the horses away but the luncheon for 80 people still went ahead.

"The track was simply not raceable," Lismore Turf Club secretary-manager Michael Timbrell said. "There were sections of the course that had surface water and you can't race in that." While the cancelled meeting is a nuisance, the rain will help to have the track at its best for the Cup carnival next month.

"You can already see just in the last 36 hours that the track is starting to green up," Timbrell said.

"The track was severely frosted and had turned brown, so I guess in the long term it (the rain) will be good."

The Turf Club will apply to have the meeting re-scheduled but Timbrell is not hopeful of getting a reprieve.

However, it's understood the Gold Coast Titans rugby league club are keen to continue their association with the Turf Club and the meeting.

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