Nuclear Medicine in Coates Handicap
THE best performed horse to race anywhere in Australia today will be stepping out at Coffs Harbour's TAB meeting.
With proceeds from the race day supporting the Russell Crowe-Luc Longley-Coffs Coast Community Bushfire Appeal, connections of blacktype-winner Nuclear Medicine decided to defy a huge weight impost and contest the Coates Open Handicap.
Any prize money won will be donated to the fund so if the horse scores, that's an extra $6500 added to the kitty.
Part-owner Matt Graham said his partners completely support the community and racing club getting behind the appeal.
“All his owners agreed that 'Nuke' should be running in support of their efforts,” he said.
“We just won't tell the horse and put any added pressure on him ... he's already got a big job ahead carrying 64 kgs.”
Currently the Northern Rivers Racing Association Horse of the Year, Nuclear Medicine won his first two races at his home track for trainer Gordon Yorke before graduating to the top company in listed events.
He won the Group Three Healy Stakes at Eagle Farm last winter before losing his way down the difficult 'straight six' at Flemington in The Salinger Stakes during the Spring Carnival.
Irrespective of today's outcome the five-year-old's next appearances are likely to be in Group races during the Brisbane winter festival.
“We are proud our horse has helped bring attention to the quality of racing at Coffs Harbour,” Graham added.
“All other owners racing today are asked to do their bit to support a great initiative led by Russell, Luc and the Coffs community.”
Understandably, trainer Yorke was scathing of the weight allocation and while the gelding has an enormous class advantage, knows he's got the job ahead.
To ease the burden, Yorke has given the ride to best mate Shane Treweek so that the horse has plenty of bone and muscle in the saddle, rather than extra lead in the bag. After a six month break from riding, the heavyweight jockey has returned refreshed and in search of his first winner on the comeback trail.
“Shane's a superb jockey and I've got potentially the best crop of young horses I've ever had coming through,” York said.
“I'd love to get him involved.”
Meanwhile, that other Coffs trainer rumoured to be handy with a horse, Joe Janiak, is set for his busiest day since setting up shop locally with two (and a possible three) starters at today's meeting.
Janiak has gained a start with Moveover Target and Sea Slew but while Rollover Target is listed as an emergency, he's unlikely to run.