Pink Silks fate rests on weather

A TRACK inspection at 9.30 this morning will determine the immediate fate of tomorrow’s Pink Silks Race Day at Coffs Harbour.

Racing Club CEO Russ Atkinson remains positive the weather gods will do the right thing for such an important event.

Conditions are similar to what they were in the days leading up to the December 30 TAB meeting and that went ahead without drama, including a track upgrade after the running of the first event.

“The track will be a heavy-10 whatever happens, and the meeting will go ahead providing we don’t cop an overnight deluge,” Atkinson said.

“However if it does become necessary to close the track, we are hopeful of conducting a phantom meeting.

“It is our intention to hold all our planned activities regardless.

“But if we are forced to postpone Pink Silks to a later date, we are looking at the calendar for an allocation from Racing NSW during March or April.”

Once the outcome of the 9.30am track inspection is known, the club will advise local radio stations and publish details on its website.

Tomorrow’s feature event, the Pink Silks Plate Open Handicap, has drawn an elite field worthy of the annual Cup carnival.

While Trevor Hardy’s candidate Save A Buck may concentrate on starting at today’s Eagle Farm meeting, the inclusion of the Gordon Yorke-trained pair Rare Diamond and One Lickety Split brings together two of the best-credentialed horses in the Northern Rivers Racing Association.

Both are struggling to find form but it was a similar situation for Rare Diamond at this time last year when she improved suddenly to win the Iris Neilsen Memorial Handicap, before rattling up a string of victories on city tracks.

Trainer Yorke is keen on winning back-to-back Neilsen’s when the race is held at Lismore at the end of the month and has engaged rookie apprentice Kasie Stanley tomorrow with her 4kg allowance meaning the mare will only shoulder 56.5kg.

Fiori, the 2009 Sawtell Cup winner, will continue his comeback for the Bellamy stable after more than a year off the scene.

The trainer has already given him three conditioning runs and with stable rider Raymond Spokes aboard and back on his home track, the horse will get his chance to break through.

Support is also likely for four-year-old mare Sigurdardottir, to be ridden by Wayne Wheatley.

After winning at Doomben and Eagle Farm in November, trainer Fred Adams gave her a let-up and she resumed by running second in a Coffs barrier trial on December 30.

Meanwhile, colourful jockey Jasen Watkins is due to return to his home track tomorrow after almost six months out of the saddle.

He last rode competitively here on Sawtell Cup Day before taking the extended break and topped off his fitness regime with plenty of surfing and trackwork to get his weight under control.

“It’s about time I did something useful with myself,” he laughed, while on a long walk around Coffs Jetty recently.

“Honestly, I can’t wait to get back and out there and into action again.”

Watkins resumed last weekend with three rides at Inverell and backed up at Port Macquarie yesterday.

He has two early engagements at Glen Innes today as a pipe opener for the Coffs comeback.

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