Bring on the big races
By TONY WHITE
WISE cracking jockey Allan Robinson has been given a great chance to ride away with the two feature carnival races at Grafton, the $125,000 Black Toyota Ramornie and $160,000 XXXX Gold Grafton Cup.
Robinson has been booked for the Liam Birchley-trained Sir Breakfast in the Ramornie (1200m) and Hofmeister, trained by Robert Smerdon, in the Grafton Cup (2400m).
Robinson won the 2003 Ramornie on Sir Breakfast which is owned by friend, Sydney opal dealer Leo Chan.
In 2000 he won the Grafton Cup aboard Simigan for Brian Smith.
"They are two very good rides," Robinson admitted. "Bring on the big races."
Six-year-old gelding Sir Breakfast was allotted 56kg in next Wednesday's Ramornie and Hofmeister 53kg in the Grafton Cup run on Thursday.
Sunshine Coast-trained Picaday was allotted topweight in the Ramornie with 56.5kg and last start Caloundra Cup winner Empyreal (58.5kg) heads weights for the Grafton Cup.
Acceptances and the barrier draw for both races will be conducted on Monday.
Hofmeister will have its final cup lead-up over 1800m at Eagle Farm today.
The gelding finished third in last year's Grafton Cup when he raced as Dancing Daggers for previous trainer Grahame Begg.
He is owned by 93-year-old Peter Shearer and his wife Barbara who purchased the gelding when it went through the Written Bloodstock dispersal sale in Sydney last year.
Shearer, who is of German decent, uses 'meister' in the names of most of his horses which means master or champion.
Smerdon won the 2003 cup with Belus and has given Hofmeister a similar preparation wintering the gelding in Brisbane.
In other cup news, last year's runner-up Precise Timing, trained by Merv Stitt, has been ruled out this year after failing to overcome stone bruises to his front feet.
Stitt believes the gallant gelding suffered the problem after racing on a hard surface in the Ipswich Cup.
Precise Timing was scheduled to have his final lead up in Sunday's $40,000 South Grafton Ex-Services Club South Grafton Cup (1600m), but will now be aimed at the Wyong and Newcastle cup double in September.
Sydney jockey Larry Cassidy has picked up the ride on Le Bron, trained by Joseph Pride, in the Cup and Kellysong for Dave Sweeney in the James Kirby.
Grant Buckley will partner Danebar for Terry Robinson in the cup and past winner Lock The Key for Gary Colvin in the Kirby.
New Zealand jockeys Chris Johnson and Lisa Allpress have been booked for the Peter McKenzie pair, Empyreal and Sculptor in the cup.