Everson ponders Cup bid
FLYING Crusader's training and racing pattern might be changed by trainer John Everson after today's Southside Agencies Class Three (1516m) at Lismore's Truck Show race meeting. Everson is toying with the idea of aiming Flying Crusader at the Ballina and Lismore cups in the hope of emulating the deeds of Arena Valadora, which won both races for him two years ago. "The plan is to lead with him again today then freshen him up," Everson said. "And when he comes back I want to change things around and see if he can't race off the pace. "I think he might be a better horse ridden that way." Flying Crusader led all the way to win his maiden at Ballina and two restricted races at Lismore and led again at the Gold coast last week when 11th over 1800 metres. "The run was much better than it looks on paper," Everson said. "He led until the last little bit, then he got tired and was swamped. "That is why I am wondering if a change of racing pattern might not be worthwhile."
Cards are 'in the mail'
LISMORE Turf Club members need not panic ? your new membership cards are coming. The club has switched to a card system for the new season but the company making the cards has run into a production problem which is being fixed. Membership cards are not needed for today's Truck Show meeting. Entry is by gold coin, while access to the members area will be unrestricted. Proceeds from the gold coin entry will be shared between the Our Kids charity at Lismore Base Hospital, the Rural Bushfire Brigade and the children of two local families who lost their fathers in trucking accidents earlier this year.
Women's long haul
THREE of the five jockeys riding in today's 3000 metre Truckies Long Haul at Lismore are women. It's a long way but, no girls, there will not be time for a chat mid-race.
Flood Hero's bid
IPSWICH apprentice Ian French will ride for the first time at Lismore today when he is legged aboard Flood Hero in the Brown and Hurley Maiden (1000m) and The Postmaster in the Volvo Mack Trucks Class One (1300m). Flood Hero is an interesting horse. He had to be swum out of Lismore racecourse during the last flood by trainer Paddy Hancock, hence the name. But don't expect any heroics from him today. He is a first starter jumping from the outside barrier. "He is a big horse that is going to need more time and more ground," Hancock said. "I was almost at my wits end trying to find a jockey when Ian rang chasing the ride. "I have never met him but he sounded very professional on the phone and he has ridden several winners."
TOOWOOMBA trainer Ivan Duke is predicting a vastly improved run from Adavale Hornet at Ballina on Tuesday after his unplaced runs in the South Grafton Cup and last Sunday's Maclean Cup. Adavale Hornet did not have the ideal preparations leading into either race yet he was beaten only slightly more than three lengths in both cups. "He went off his feed and to do what he did in those two races was a great effort," Duke said. "However, I have got him licking his feed bin out again so should be back on track with him now." Duke is looking at the Ballina and Lismore cups with the well-performed five-year-old. "He will go back to Brisbane in a week or two, then we will look at setting him for the two cups down there," Duke said. "The Lismore Cup particularly interests me because I think he will be looking for 2100 metres by the end of September." Adavale Hornet has won over 2020 metres at Doomben and 1800 metres at Eagle Farm. Three starts back he was beaten only half a length when fourth in the Tatts Cup over 1800 metres at Rockhampton. Apprentices have ridden Adavale Hornet in 34 of his 48 starts including his last 21 starts. Ballina apprentice Robert Agnew takes over on Tuesday for the first time.
THE Open Handicap (1600m) at Ballina on Tuesday is shaping as a real Ballina Cup preview. Apart from Adavale Hornet, nearly every other runner in the race is being geared towards the cup, on September 14, including last year's winner Beamer. The rising 10-year-old showed he still had another win or two in him when a good ninth at Doomben last Saturday, beaten only 3.5 lengths at his third start from a spell.
PORT Macquarie trainer Tas Morton will chase the second leg of the Casino cups double next month. Morton won the Beef Week Cup at Casino last May with Jenks and will start the four-year-old in the $20,000 Casino RSM Club Cup on Sunday, August 13. After winning the Beef Week Cup Jenks went to Warwick Farm and ran sixth to With A Chance in the final of the P J Bell Country Championship, beaten a little more than three lengths. Last Sunday he ran third to Shagny Lover in the Maclean Cup at Grafton. Morton said he was unlikely to give the horse another run before Casino.
NORTHERN Rivers racing calendar: Today Lismore (non TAB), Tuesday Ballina (TAB), Sunday July 30 Coffs Harbour (TAB), Tuesday August 1 Coffs Harbour (TAB), Thursday August 3 Coffs Harbour (TAB), Monday August 7 Murwillumbah (TAB), Sunday August 13 Casino Cup (TAB).