Cedar Manor turns new leaf
LISMORE Cup runner Cedar Manor is the horse no one wanted.
He was passed in at auction in Sydney two years ago and was later picked up for about $10,000 by Ballina trainer Danny Bowen and his son.
The eight-year-old gelding has since been syndicated out to a group that also includes jockey Darron Coleman's wife.
So while most interest in today's $60,000 race centres around interstate raiders such as Jujulio and Onalar, the unfashionable team behind the unwanted Cedar Manor have quietly gone about their business.
Cedar Manor finished fifth in the Lismore Cup last year and sixth in the Ballina Cup a fortnight ago, but Bowen is typically upbeat about his chances against more highly fancied competitors in today's big race, which is expected to draw about 8000 people.
“It's going to be a lottery,” Bowen said.
“There are a lot of horses who come here and can't handle the track or are a bit suspect over the journey.
“Probably in some people's eyes he might not stand a chance, but we haven't run the race yet.”
Bowen has never had a Lismore Cup winner and Cedar Manor became his first ever runner when he contested the cup last year.
“People don't realise how hard it is to keep horses sound and peaking at the right time.
“They must have been scratching their heads when we brought him as a giveaway, but we have had a lot of success with him, and it would be a great achievement to win such a big race.
“He's always had a motor, it is just a matter of getting him going.”
The XXXX Gold Lismore Cup is race seven of the eight-race program at Lismore and is due to jump at 4.40pm.
The second feature race is the Rousillon Handicap at 2.50pm.