Coast clear for Lismore Cup
DESPITE a string of race meetings being abandoned because of the wild weather across the eastern seaboard yesterday, Lismore Turf Club secretary Michael Timbrell remained confident that the $60,000 XXXX Gold Lismore Cup (2100m) today would go ahead as planned.
Timbrell said he expected the dust storm to 'blow away' overnight and for the weather to clear in time for the eight-race cup day program.
“It is not as bad here as in some other places, and I am only guessing, but we will probably be able to race,” he said.
“Visibility is fine, we can see to the other side of the track and the dust in the air is not as thick as some areas.
“But obviously we are worried about two things; visibility is one issue and also health concerns for the jockeys breathing in the dust.”
The windy weather also slowed down preparations and played havoc with the installation of some marquees, meaning staff will probably have to start early today to catch up.
But, otherwise, Timbrell believes the track will be rated a 'good three' for the meeting.Jujulio favourite
Jujulio has firmed as favourite to take out the cup.
Three months after Jujulio was switched to Eagle Farm trainer Tony Crane from Gerald Ryan, the then six-year-old was aimed at last year's Bernborough Handicap, one of the features of summer racing in Brisbane.
Two starts earlier Jujulio had run an agonisingly close third in the Recognition Stakes, beaten in a three-way photo finish, and the horse's owners were primed for a major feature win.
However, Jujulio did not have one ounce of luck and finished 10th.
“We decided then to come back in 12 months and try again to win the Bernborough,” Crane said.
Jujulio takes an important step towards that dream today when he starts with Christian Reith in the saddle.
“After the cup the horse will go for a short break then I will bring him back and get him ready for the Bernborough,” Crane said.
“The Lismore Cup fits in perfectly to that program. The horse can run 2100 metres but he cannot run 2200 metres.”
Crane was referring to Jujulio's third at Eagle Farm over 2200 metres two weeks ago when beaten less than half a length.
“That shows what a fighter he is,” Crane said.
“He couldn't see out the distance but kept fighting back.
“He is owned by a great bunch of guys and they are desperate to win a cup with the horse so they can have a drink out of it afterwards. If Jujulio wins the Lismore Cup there is going to be quite a celebration.”