Matt Dunns race horse Snitz gets some early morning track work in at Tweed Jockey Club Murwillumbah. Snitzh is the favourite going into Saturdays big country race event in Sydney.
Matt Dunns race horse Snitz gets some early morning track work in at Tweed Jockey Club Murwillumbah. Snitzh is the favourite going into Saturdays big country race event in Sydney. Scott Powick NEWSCORP

Matt's done enough to kick clear

MURWILLUMBAH trainer Matt Dunn kicked two-and-a-half wins clear in the Northern Rivers trainers' premiership when Maglev posted a narrow victory at Ballina yesterday.

Dunn had entered the meeting one-and-a-half wins ahead of Ballina trainer Stephen Lee before Maglev saluted in the Maiden Hcp (1600m).

Maglev, which had run second at two of his past three outings, surged home to beat Bill Pholi's Dash For Van and Scott Henley's Gratuitous in a three-way photo-finish.

He was rated to perfection by jockey Robbie Fradd.

"He's always shown plenty of promise,” Dunn said of the four-year-old gelding son of Bullet Train.

Dunn also had the favourite, Bling 'N' Bubbles, in the following race, the Maiden Hcp (1000m), but she finished out of the placings as the Ballina gelding Dorset Coast broke through at his third start.\

Meanwhile, Gref Nash celebrated his greatest racing moment when Nothingforthepress won the $50,000 Slipway Hotel Ballina Summer Cup (1600m).

The five-year-old gelding son of Pressday was brilliantly ridden by Matt McGuren and surged to a half length win from the Chris Munce-trained St Patrick's Day with John Zielke's Future Event third.

Last year's Ballina Cup was washed out so today's Ballina Summer Cup became something of a replacement.

Stephen Lee, who trains Nothingforthepress and had four runners in the Cup, was a delighted man after the race.

He was more delighted for Nothingforthepress' owner/breeder Greg Nash, a former president of the Ballina Jockey Club.

"All Greg wanted to do was win a Ballina Cup,” he told Sky Thoroughbred Central's Gary Kliese as he celebrated his second Ballina Cup.

"He's really improved this horse. He can have a break now and come back and maybe run the mile better.”

The Terry McCarthy-trained three-year-old had debuted well at Coffs Harbour when caught wide throughout and finished well for third. He was then beaten a short half- head at Murwillumbah.

Steven Phelps won the fifth race with General Nelson.

The five-year-old gelding also won at Ballina on Boxing Day and has now won four of his 21 starts.

A celebration at the Shaws Bay Hotel was on the cards for a delighted Phelps and stable supporters after the trainer freshened the gelding to win his past two on his home track.

"He's racing really well, going good,” Phelps told Sky Thoroughbred Central's Gary Kliese.

Gold Coast trainer Toby Edmonds won the first race of the day with Coolwedge then the fourth with Sunday Session.

The next race meeting on the Northern Rivers is at Grafton on Sunday, January 27, followed by Ballina on Monday, February 4.



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