Speedy Alley comes down the outside during the 1100m race at the Lismore Turf Club.
Speedy Alley comes down the outside during the 1100m race at the Lismore Turf Club. Contributed

Youngberry back on track

FORMER local apprentice Peter Youngberry has returned home to Lismore after many years training and working with stables around Australia and overseas and joined the local training ranks.

He will have his first local starter with Crown The Warrior (Kirk Matheson) in the Taylor Byrne Property Valuations Benchmark 50 (1100m) at Lismore's TAB meeting today.

Youngberry, who was originally indentured to the late Len Cook, later went to Sydney to ride for the Pat Murray stable then eventually returned to Lismore to ride for Athol Farmer.

Weight eventually caught up with Youngberry and he turned to training, preparing horses for the late Russ Hinze at the Gold Coast before going to Melbourne to work with John Meagher then back to Queensland to join the Noel Doyle stable.

That was followed by a stint training in Kuwait for one of the sheiks then going to England and working with John Gorsden at Newmarket.

Youngberry then came back to Australia, worked with Doyle again then gave away training away.

Last November he returned home, was granted another trainer's licence and has quietly been building up his team.

"I don't know if Crown The Warrior can win first up but he will certainly be rattling home," Youngberry said.

"We won't see the best of him until he gets up to 1400m.

"It is great to be back in Lismore and training.


Never easy

Racing can be a heart-breaking venture at times, especially when a lot of money is spent buying an extremely well-bred yearling.

Unfortunately horses don't know what it is in their pedigree and it is no guarantee of success.

Comico, top weight for the Chairmans Maiden, is by Hussonet from the Danehill mare Very Funny and was passed in for $250,000 as a yearling and later bought privately.

Steve Englebrecht trained the four-year-old at Warwick Farm and gave him four starts at the provincials with his best effort a sixth at Gosford before being sold and switched to Ben Robinson at Gatton.

In three runs for him Comico has run second and fourth at the Sunshine Coast while at his last start he beat only one horse home at Warwick earlier this month.


Finding middle ground

Gordon Yorke has been critical of Racing NSW and individual clubs for not programming more middle-distance races.

Lismore and Port Macquarie are two clubs which are trying to cater to the more stoutly bred gallopers and the trainer has responded by starting Cabarita Queen in today's Somerville Laundry Lomax Class Two (2100m).

She looks a special on the strength of her maiden win over 1800m at Port Macquarie on January 31.

"I have not been able to get races that suited her until now and those clubs that are not programming middle-distance races should be ashamed of themselves," Yorke said.

"Thank goodness we have clubs like Lismore and Port Macquarie which are prepared to cater to these type of horses."


Trainer confident

Sharron Pepper thinks Mia is ready to break back into the winners' circle in today's final race, the Durheim Painting Class Three (1400m), after running second at three of her four starts since resuming.

Pepper took Mia to the Gold Coast two weeks ago in preference to Grafton and the filly ran a good second.

"It was a great run at the Gold Coast and I think this filly is going to get better as her races get longer," Pepper said.


New meeting

When Racing NSW was putting together the itinerary for its whistle-stop fact-finding mission over the next six weeks, it scheduled just one meeting for this whole area - in Ballina on April 3.

Owners, trainers, other industry participants and those with an interest in racing from further down the coast had to either come to Ballina or go to Newcastle.

Racing NSW finally responded to the howls of protest and has scheduled another meeting in Coffs Harbour, four hours after the Ballina meeting.

On a related issue, several high-profile Hunter Valley breeders who know John Messara will say his appointment as chairman of Racing NSW can only be good for country racing.

"John has a passion for country racing and if the industry can win the court case there is going to be a lot of money poured into infra-structure and prize money in the country," one prominent breeder said.

Interestingly, the judgement is expected to be handed down next week.

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