HOME, SWEET HOME: Lismore meet becomes Grafton affair
NORTHERN Rivers Racing Association premiership leaders, Matt Dunn and Matt McGuren, combined to win the first two races at Grafton yesterday.
NRRA stewards deemed Lismore unsuitable for racing when they inspected the track on Wednesday afternoon.
As a consequence, the meeting was transferred to Grafton where the track was rated a Heavy 9.
It didn’t worry Penshurst, the six-year-old gelding, a son of Fastnet Rock, winning the $20,000 Betta Home Living 3Y) & Up Handicap (2100m) for McGuren and Dunn.
It edged the pair of Matts further in front of their respective trainer and jockey NRRA premierships.
McGuren sat on 46 wins this season following the two wins, 19 in front of his nearest rival Belinda Hodder (27), with Ben Looker (26) and Ray Spokes (25) close up.
Matt Dunn had 47 wins in the NRRA this season and has an even bigger lead in the trainers premiership, 29 ahead of Kris Lees and the father and son combo of Toby and Trent Edmonds.
The win was also a good one for Dunn who thought it a timely one for his gelding.
Penshurst has now won three of his 15 starts.
Sky Thoroughbred Central’s Priscilla Looker said the win would have been good for Penshurst’s confidence.
“The whole idea was to come here and give him confidence,” Matt Dunn agreed.
“I thought that has what he’s been looking for. It’s also good he’s starting to achieve some of the results we’ve been hoping for since he was imported.”
Matt Dunn also said it “proved he could get through the ground” on the Heavy 9.
He said wet tracks might be the norm this winter and “hopefully he will develop into a horse we can take to Brisbane.”
The two Matts then combined to make it a running double when Ready To Party broke through for his first win in the $20,000 Our Kids Maiden Handicap (1200m).
The three-year-old son of More Than Ready was having his seventh start and overcome a crashing bump from race leader What’s Onemore to notch his maiden victory and Dunn has high hopes.
“He’s shown plenty of talent and hopefully will go on from here,” Dunn said.
McGuren then went on to win race 4 on the day.