Tonight's meeting at Dubbo will be a massive evening of racing, with $104,040 of prizemoney up for grabs in addition to rugs and trophies for all eight races.
(min cost $8)
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Balducci ($1.90) looks like the best bet on the card, despite the lightly race Mach Three x Tilly Bromac colt starting on the outside of the second row. Joes Redemption ($6.50) has always been thereabouts in his 22 race career, with six wins while former Parkes runner Ring The Till ($8) broke through for a win last start - the gelding is finally returning to his best form.
Im Desirable ($3.75) will be going for three in a row when she lines up for Steve Turnbull from outside on the second row after cruising to victory last Sunday in Dubbo while Dubbo gelding Im Alrite has been mixing his best form, but has the ability to challenge the two favourites.
A father and son will combine to honour their father and grandfather when Greg Lew drives the John Lew-trained Jogalong Blue ($101) from the favourable barrier one position. Beast Mode ($9) won in good time (1:55.9) at Bathurst last Wednesday, though on best form Jenden Strike ($2) is clearly the best horse in the race. Chasing the Wind ($3.75) already has a feature win for Amanda Turnbull this season.
She's already won the Red Ochre Mares Classic once and come Friday night Bernie Hewitt promises Scarlett Babe ($4.50) is ready to roll yet again. Hewitt said he has specifically targeted this race for the mare. Arma Naughty ($2.75) had a dominant victory in Bathurst on November 11 with the lightning quick mile rate of 1:52.2. The mare has won four of her last six starts, with minor placings in the other two. Is Meraviglia ($21) good enough to measure up to those two? She's certainly a talented filly.
The staying race for the evening will see Our Uncle Sam ($1.40) first-up for the Bathurst-based Frisby team on Friday night after racing in Queensland last preparation. An two-time Group 1 winner, the gelding has recorded 21 victories in 92 career starts and it's hard to imagine anything but bad luck beating him. The Steve Turnbull trained Firestorm Red ($13) is fresh off victory in a Menangle Group 3 while Alta Equus ($21) has three wins over 2100 metres in the past couple of months.
Plenty of chances in this race, it wouldn't be surprising to see any of these runners win no matter the odds. Parkes trainer Andrew Cassell would have been ecstatic to secure a spot in the Golden Gig final after My Flying Spur caused an upset in Dubbo last Sunday. The gelding not without a chance at $34, though he will need to get off to an absolutely flyer from 2 on the front row. Turbo Tommy ($5) has been super consistent of late, while Why Not Surf's win in Parkes two weeks ago with a mile rate of 2:00.2 was impressive.
A pair of Parkes runners, Caribbean Pat ($34) and Country Grammar ($41), trained by Malcolm and Brett Hutchings respectively, will run in a race full of up-and-comers headlined by a pair of Amanda Turnbull runners; Hold My Halo ($2.50) and Classical Music ($2.50). Aunty Emily ($13) was ultra impressive when winning by 8.3 metres in Dubbo last Sunday.
An open field will contest the last event of the evening, with Just Ernie ($1.50) likely to jump as favourite after securing the first spot on the front row. Oberon concession driver Justin Reynolds will likely settle in the back half of the field aboard Mister Mysterious ($8) and will be steaming home; though you can make a case for many of these runners.
Apart from some first class racing, patrons will be well catered for and can win some great prizes by just dressing in red, which is the theme of the night.
The Group 3 Red Ochre Mares Classic has become one of the most sought-after events in country NSW and is supported by a number of leading studs throughout Australasia.
This year's field is one of the most even that has contested the race since its inception with price assessors battling to be able to make a standout favourite.
Champion Bathurst trainer, driver Amanda Turnbull has seven runners engaged at Dubbo and two in the Red Ochre.
She will drive Meraviglia while Isobel Ross is aboard Gotta Party Doll, a former New Zealand mare who resumed racing last month and smashed the Parkes Track Record: 1.57.3.
The first race kicks off at 6.25pm.
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