Old ‘Rocky’ runs rings around them
River Street, which won the Casino Cup in August, proved too strong down the straight, edging out early leader Frisco Miss after a brilliant ride by jockey Danny Peisley.
The seven-year-old had been set for the Ballina Cup last month but trainer Andrew Pilling was forced to withdraw River Street, whose stablename is Rocky, after he pulled up sore.
“He really shows a lot of heart, this horse,” a delighted Pilling said.
“He bruised his soles about five weeks ago but he’s just come right. Originally we were going to put him in the Ballina Cup but he was sore and then this race popped up.
“He’s an honest old horse and he just keeps grinding away and tries his heart out.
“He’s an old gentleman of a horse and I’ll probably keep him running here at Ballina.”
The horse is owned by Pilling’s cousin and the Ballina trainer has had the 57-start veteran in his stable only for about 12 months.
River Street and Frisco Miss, which is trained by Greg Howells at Grafton, fought it out down the outside of the dead four rated Ballina track.
Frisco Miss led almost from the start and had a clear advantage by the 700 metres, however by the turn the field had cut the lead dramatically and she ended up being edged out by a half neck.
The Stephen Lee-trained Surety finished third, a length further back.
Pilling believes River Street is adaptable and can run any distance between 1300m to 2000m but the punters didn’t agree and the winner romped home at the enviable odds of $13.
The race is named after Bangalow icon and once Australia’s oldest man, Frank Scarrabelotti, who died in 2007 at the age of 109.
His daughter Helen was on hand to present the Bangalow Cup to Pilling.
Two jockeys rode winning doubles at Ballina yesterday.
Raymond Spokes brought home Wayne’s Choice in the GNF Real Estate Handicap (1300m) and Symposium in the Bangalow Real Estate Maiden Handicap (1250m).
And Sheree Drake saluted the judges aboard Missy Windy Weepu in the Hydraulic and Bangalow Post Office Ratings 55 (1000m) and Petalan in the Bangalow Bowling and Sports Club Ratings 55 (1000m).