Coffs trainer hopes fourth time is a charm
COFFS Harbour stables have their best chance in years of capturing the Black Toyota Ramornie Handicap with three top hopes and two in reserve for this afternoon's historic Grafton sprint race.
Brett Dodson will send out veteran campaigner Words Of Magic for his fourth stab at the race and hopes he'll go one better than last year's long head second to outsider For Valour.
"He's as good as last year and has a liking for this event," Dodson said.
"Some horses have an uncanny ability to respond at a particular time and place and in his case, it's the Ramornie."
The trainer is one of several to raise eyebrows about the weight scale, with the rising 10-year-old receiving just one kilo from dual Group One-winner Gee I Jane.
"I knew all along he'd get around that weight (57.5kg) but with her record I'm surprised the mare wasn't given a lot more," he said.
"The old bloke has only won one listed race but he's run good placings in several others and I suppose he's paying the price for being consistent."
Rival Brett Bellamy also is troubled by the weight differential to the top weight but agrees the wide draw could be more problematical to his main candidate Sectagonal.
"Barrier 16 puts him out near the car park and he'll need luck," he said.
"He's going well and will give a great sight so I'll stay hopeful."
A runner-up in listed company at both previous starts, the son of champion Octagonal will be ridden by Brad Stewart who ironically was aboard Words Of Magic in 2006.
Bellamy also has Frisco's Harem as first emergency but the mare will only run if there's a scratching, as is also the case with Trevor Hardy's wet-track specialist Shovoot.
Mystery surrounds the Ken Lantry entry Recapitalize who'll be partnered by Shane Treweek, with many giving the former Melbourne horse a huge chance from an inside gate.
After winning at Caulfield on March 10, the six-year-old stallion failed twice before being spelled, then resumed for the local stable with a fast-finishing ninth to The Jackal in the Healy Stakes at Eagle Farm on June 23.
Meanwhile, apprentice Emma Telfer will attempt to emulate Lacey Morrison, who in 2006 became the first female jockey to win the 1200 metre dash.
Telfer retains the ride on ride on well-fancied Newton's Rings, last start winner of the Pacesetter Stakes at Gosford.
Glamour kiwi Gee I Jane will end her career in the Ramornie and is booked to visit a stallion at Coolmore Stud next season.