Plugger and Epic Choice are two favourites of form students for the 1530m New Year open handicap at Tweed River Jockey Club’s race meet tomorrow.
Plugger and Epic Choice are two favourites of form students for the 1530m New Year open handicap at Tweed River Jockey Club’s race meet tomorrow. Stephen Senise

‘Nice types’ to kick start new season of racing at M’bah

THE last instalment of Murwillumbah’s summer triple-header gets under way tomorrow, ushering in a new calendar year’s local racing.

The expanded nine-race program will feature the running of the 1530m New Year open handicap where a number of nice types will be vying for prize money including Plugger, from the local stable of leading trainer Matt Dunn.

Plugger has scored on home turf before and has two runs under his belt this campaign, both third placings at the Gold Coast.

Another to catch the eye of form students is Epic Choice, trained by John Wallace at the Gold Coast.

The six-year-old gelding has a record of two seconds from two previous starts at Murwillumbah, once going down to Plugger when they were local stablemates and another time relegating him to third place.

In more recent assignments Epic Choice has flown home from near last at Doomben, finishing 1.5 and 2.0 lengths from the winners in good Saturday company both times.

He will be ridden by apprentice Brooke Ainsworth who has taken a shine to riding at Murwillumbah recently.

Tomorrow’s meeting will be the second hosted by the Tweed River Jockey Club in a week, after last Sunday’s Pottsville Beach Sports Club and Pottsville Business Houses race day, conducted on a racing surface ranging from slow to heavy.

The feature 2020m Pottsville Beach Sports Club Cup was taken out by Whispering Tess ($7) in an impressive go-to-whoa victory courtesy of some impressive riding by Ainsworth.

The meeting was a hit with holiday crowds both on and off-course with TAB betting turnover on par with some the Tweed River Jockey Club’s more iconic meetings like Murwillumbah Cup Day.

Despite heavy regional downpours in the lead-in which saw racing cancelled at Ballina and Bowraville on Boxing Day, the local racing surface handled the wet weather well, according to jockey club secretary-manager Brian Charman.

“Unofficially, we’re being referred to as the Canterbury Park of the north – the drainage is that good now we can be compared to that particular benchmark for wet weather racing,” he said.

The track is rated a Good 4 with mainly clear skies forecast to race day when some rain is predicted.



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