Jockey Matthew Bennett shows perfect styling as he drives Holding On to the line to win the opening race at Coffs Harbour yesterday.
Jockey Matthew Bennett shows perfect styling as he drives Holding On to the line to win the opening race at Coffs Harbour yesterday. Bruce Thomas

Coffs race day a hit

IT was a long way from Flemington but Cup Day is great anywhere.

The social crowd at yesterday’s Coffs Harbour non-TAB races got right into the Melbourne Cup spirit with food and fashion.

Others took a few minutes away from partying to watch the local horses and riders do their thing.

Favourite backers started the day in the right frame of mind when locally trained Holding On picked up a BOBS extra bonus for connections by winning the first.

Jockey Matt Bennett was full of confidence in the closing stages and only needed hands and heels to cross the line almost three lengths clear of runner-up Ratanga.

The winner was trained by Trent Greentree.

And the premier trainer-jockey partnership for the Northern Rivers Racing Association wasted no time adding to their already formidable record when $1.80 elect Rovada Divi won the second event.

Trained by Brett Bellamy and ridden by Raymond Spokes, the winner snatched victory by a head in the shadows of the post from impeccably bred Fastnet Light and outsider Newbold Raze.

Racing moves back to Grafton today where a highlight will be the return of consistent mare Dash’s Princess.

Since entering the Bruce Swan stables and combining with apprentice Amy White, the five-year-old mare has won four times from six starts.

“Everything we’ve asked of her she’s done,” the trainer commented.

“She’s relishing racing and don’t be surprised if she improves more.

“Things are looking good and she’s become our little cash cow ... we might be able to afford a leg or ham or something for Christmas.”

Swan’s training regime, keeping the mare mad fresh, obviously agrees with Dash’s Princess.

“She’s thriving, going better than ever and if she wins or runs very well, as I expect, she warrants a start in Brisbane.

“Amy loves her, we treat all our horses the same way but usually she’s the first horse taken out for a pick of grass or a bit of attention.”



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