Yashushi poised for wins on Pimpalas
By GREG WHITE
TRY to forgive jockey Yasushi Fujimoto if he becomes a little confused when his mounts parade at today's Coffs Harbour TAB race meeting.
The retained rider for the Gordon Yorke stable is poised to enjoy his best day since setting up house in Australia with strongly favoured mounts in five of the seven races, all on horses carrying the famous 'Pimpala' prefix.
Fujimoto will be aboard Pimpala Corvette (race one), Pimpala Karma (race three), Pimpala Lass (race five), Pimpala Fury (race six) and Pimpala Diamond (race seven).
Because he doesn't have a ride in the fourth race, he can sit back with the crowd to enjoy the return bout between Kempsey mare Langfibian and Brett Bellamy's speed machine Titusville in the Sawtell Chamber of Commerce Open Handicap.
Fresh from a winning double at Bowraville on Boxing Day, the mare's trainer Barry Ratcliff has worked miracles to keep his iron horse in peak form for almost two full seasons and her career has featured frequent clashes with the Coffs course specialist, Titusville.
After her bold run behind Rikkizar in the Sir James Kirby Quality during Grafton's July carnival a race where she again tangled with Titusville a runaway win at Newcastle earned a short break before a comeback second to Silver Dane at Port Macquarie in mid-November.
Ratcliff has decided to space her runs and will utilise the claim of in form apprentice Michael Hellyer to bring her weight down to 57.5kg.
Titusville has won five of seven tries on the track and is coming off a narrow third in the Ballina Newmarket last month.
Stable rider Raymond Spokes will take the mount.
Meanwhile, the 'family' at Coffs Harbour Racing Club are celebrating becoming finalists in two categories of the 2007 RacingNSW Country Awards for Excellence.
Joe Janiak's world champion sprinter, Takeover Target, will be chasing a back-to-back victory in the Country Trained Horse Award but this section has developed into a major triumph for the local Northern Rivers Racing Association.
Also named as finalists are Gordon Yorke's Natural Destiny, and The Jackal, winner of the NRRA's top sprint race, the Ramornie Handicap.
Clarence River Jockey Club will again be out to win the prize for Most Popular Feature Race Meeting and champion jockey Peter Graham hopes to win the Country Jockey Award for the second straight year.
But it's being made a finalist for Best Innovation or Improvement by a Country Race Club Award that has the CHRC feeling on top of the world.
The club was nominated for the immediate success of the Pink Silks Ladies Day, first held last January, which raised almost $30,000 for local breast cancer support networks.
"I can't take any of the praise for this one as the guys put most of it together before I arrived in town," CEO Russ Atkinson said.
"Tanya Slaviero and Simon Chladil were the driving force behind the success of the venture and it's to their credit the public took Pink Silks to their hearts.
"As it builds in the years to come it will be one of the biggest highlights of local summer racing."
The second Pink Silks Ladies Day will be held on Sunday, January 13, and those attending today's meeting who wish to become involved as a sponsor or participant can contact the Racing Club office near the entry to the Merv Mercer Auditorium for further information.