Flood puts meeting in doubt
LISMORE Turf Club's impending Woodlawn Cup day is now in doubt.
The Woodlawn Cup was to have been held in March but was washed out and now the re-scheduled cup day on April 29 is under threat following the flood.
Lismore Turf Club chief executive Scott Jones said a decision on whether the meeting went ahead would be made next week.
He said Northern Rivers Racing Association stewards were to have inspected the track this week but it appeared that might now happen on Tuesday.
"I think we are still a chance of racing but we won't know until the stewards have a look,” Jones said.
The Lismore track was inundated by 3m of water during the flood.
"It's the biggest anyone's ever seen but we've been through a few,” Jones said.
"All the major machinery was saved and we've started the clean-up.
"We are under the pump, though.”
While the flood was bad enough, the week of rain following the natural disaster didn't help.
"The track is looking a bit brown, too,” Jones said.
Murwillumbah is down to race on Anazac Day but that meeting is also in doubt.
HIGHWAY Handicaps will resume in Sydney today and while the Northern Rivers doesn't have a represent- ative, there are some interesting runners.
Trainer Brett Cavanough, who has just moved from Albury to Scone, has the impressive Still Undaunted engaged.
The three-year-old gelding son of Duporth has had only three runs for a debut fifth at Wagga and wins at Corowa and Scone.
His win at Scone was impressive, coming from a long way back over 900m.
Cavanough has relocated his stable and family to the Hunter Valley because he believes Scone is a perfect racing base.
"There are only three nurseries in the world - Kentucky, Newmarket and Scone,” he said when enjoying his first racing day at his new home track.
He started three that day, had one scratched at the barrier then and with the other two.
Still Undaunted has thrived since his Scone win and has drawn ideally (6) with Tommy Berry to ride. He has 53.5kg.
Much of the competition comes from down south with the likes of Danny Williams and Barbara Joseph.
Williams has two runners, last start winner Tiger By The Tale and Bandit Belle, while Barabara Joseph and her son Paul Jones also have two, Mercurial Lad and Always Flushed.
Tony Megahey reports rogue talent Mercurial Lad will be finally on his best behaviour for the training team chasing regular TAB Highway success during an exciting expansion period.
"He has any amount of raw ability but he's a damn handful,” Joseph said.
"The stewards ordered him to trial after he copped a warning at Canberra and again ran to the outside fence winning at Goulburn.”
Despite the erratic traits, Mercurial Lad led throughout to win both races convincingly in mid-March. The Goulburn 1400m success was on a heavy eight surface with Brodie Loy aboard.
Mercurial Lad has won three races from just eight starts and country stewards gave him a pass mark to continue to race after a satisfactory recent jump out at the Sapphire Coast track where Joseph Jones Racing has established a new satellite stable.
"The cruel thing is that because he was such a naughty boy, we had to miss the Kembla leg of the Provincial Championships when we really believed he would have been competitive,” Joseph said.
"This horse could be unbeaten. He races in pacifiers and a Norton bit.
"The thing is if he gets to the front too early, he loses it, but hopefully he's learning and he trialled well.
"Brodie Loy knows how to handle him best but for all of this, it's exciting to think how far he might have won by if he didn't do so much wrong.
"That's why we're coming to Randwick.
"He's just three, has only had a handful of starts and won three.
"If Brodie can slot him in with cover, and have the last look, it'd probably be better than if he was in front too early and running the risk again.”