Never Doubt Me, ridden by Jasen Watkins, takes out the 2011 Ballina Bracelet.
Never Doubt Me, ridden by Jasen Watkins, takes out the 2011 Ballina Bracelet.

Gun rider, gun draw

CHAMPION country apprentice Matthew McGuren believes the Patinack Farm owned and John Thompson trained Aronson has drawn perfectly in barrier one for the $25,000 Gem Array Jewellers Bracelet (1250m) at Ballina today.

"It's the gun draw because of the short run to the first turn," McGuren said.

"I have ridden a lot at Ballina and know the track well.

"It's one of those courses where you ride the track, not the horse."

McGuren, who has won the statewide Rising Star Series for apprentices and out-rode his country claim at Port Macquarie last Tuesday, knows little about Aronson.

However, he was going home to Taree last night, after riding at Scone yesterday, to study the videos of her six career starts including her last-start win in a mid-week meeting at Eagle Farm nine days ago.

McGuren, who out-rode his country claim in two-and-a-half years, will also ride Well Credentialled for Patinack in the Le Chelle Boutique Lennox Head Class 1 Handicap.

"I don't know much about her but she is stepping up a bit in distance and on her breeding this is going to be a more suitable race," McGuren said.

The ride he is most looking forward to is on the Alan Ryan trained Bundy Special in the Somerville Laundry Lomax Class 2.

It was Ryan who encouraged the Grafton born and bred McGuren into race riding and was his first master until he transferred to Ross Stitt at Taree.

"I love riding for Alan and Bundy Special loves the wet," McGuren said.

The horse was a winner at Grafton two starts back then ran a close second at Ipswich.

McGuren is also on the Tom Pratt-trained Private Express as he aims for his third successive win in the Slipway Hotel Benchmark 65 Handicap (1300m).

Ballina trainers hold a strong hand in the Bracelet with Andrew Pilling to start Clever Fortune (Kacie Stanley) while he also has first emergency Hughes On First while John Hubbard will start Aussie Triumph (Peter Graham).

Clever Fortune has started three times for three seconds in mid-week company at Doomben and a last-start second to Detonate at Grafton.

Pilling knows the filly faces a hard task.

"She will be the smallest horse in the field but what she lacks in size she makes up for with heart," Pilling said.

"She will be in front on the turn but then the hard part starts for her in trying to hold off the challenges.

"She is from the Brisbane sale and this is the race we set her for but as soon as this is over she is going for a spell."


Race 1: BILLY JAY 1, Windsplitter 2, Allez Charlie 3, Kaluanui 4.

Race 2: HOT BICKIES 1, Hawilka 2, Oakfield Candy 3, Twinkleton 4.

Race 3: BUNDY SPECIAL 1, Plateau Gold 2, Black Passion 3, Stabilizer 4.

Race 4: AL'S DELIGHT 1, Utzon's Vision 2, Vienne 3, Freerocker 4.

Race 5: EPIC TERRA 1, Toucan Ukelele 2, Wabeel 3, Tzanann 4.

Race 6: JACARANDA AVENUE 1, Harlequin's Gold 2, Clever Fortune 3, Aronson 4.

Race 7: PRIVATE EXPRESS 1, Falontino 2, Originate 3, Bellavonane 4.

Race 8: INDUSTRIALISM 1, Flagges Flying 2, Braddfield 3, Embank 4.

Corrosive liquids onboard crashed b-double

Corrosive liquids onboard crashed b-double

Emergency services are on the scene

This weekend's Northern Rivers markets list

This weekend's Northern Rivers markets list

Where to get fresh coffee and local produce from

Nimbin fire to be considered during state-wide investigation

Nimbin fire to be considered during state-wide investigation

Nimbin main street blaze will be considered in investigation

Local Partners