Injury costs jockey a winning double
A PAINFUL groin injury proved troublesome for Gold Coast jockey Tony Pattillo in more ways than one at Grafton yesterday.
The injury, sustained over the weekend, cost Pattillo a winning double in the opening two races.
"If he was crook, he'd be feeling a lot crooker now," quipped Northern Rivers chief steward Mark Holloway.
"The groin hadn't healed as expected."
Matthew McGurren was the first lucky recipient partnering the Giuseppe Alati-trained Grandin to win the Go Racing At Grafton C & G Class 1 Hcp (1000m).
The $4.20 chance proved too good in the run home for Hide The Moon ($3.50) and locally-trained Desperate Dan.
Alati trained in Queensland for seven years then in Melbourne for four before switching to Ballina.
"He's a nice horse to handle. No world beater but he might win a couple more," he said of the five-year-old son of Grandera. "I've got a bit of a soft spot for him."
Fellow Gold Coast rider Chris Whitely took over from Pattillo on Perfect Timing, trained by Joanne Hardy, the daughter of well-known Coffs Harbour trainer Trevor Hardy.
Perfect Timing ($6) came with a well-timed finish in the Jacaranda Cup November 6th Open Hcp (1400m) to beat Horoscopes ($9) and Villamill ($3.20), whom many people considered unlucky.
Hardy prepares her team of 14 horses at a property 20 minutes outside Coffs Harbour where she also spells and pre trains horses.
"I've been really happy with him since he came back this preparation," Hardy said. "He's come up enormous. This is probably the best I've ever had him.
"He's one of those great bread and butter horses. He just tries his heart out every time he goes around.
"And he always goes well second up."
Hardy purchased the seven-year-old as a tried horse from John Everson for $10,000.
"I think he's won more than $30,000 for us now," she said happily.
Winning also proved a happy tonic for Grafton trainer "Pistol' Peter Sinclair who scored with Great Heart ($4) in the Xmas Race Day November 24th Benchmark 60 Hcp (1200m).
The gelding had been most unlucky at his past three starts.
It is Sinclair's only horse.
"I'm happy for the owners to finally win another race," Sinclair said. "He's run some good race lately without winning.
"(Apprentice) Daniel Holton rode him a treat."
Great Heart got into the race with 56kg after Holton's three kilo claim, a big weight drop on the weights he'd been carrying lately.
Popular Grafton hobby trainer Stephen Beetson broke a two-year drought from the winners' circle when Sinberg led all the way to win the Book A Xmas Party Marquee Now Maiden (1200m).
Beetson, a cousin to recently deceased league legend Arthur Beetson, has just two horses in work - Sinberg and Skating On Luck. He is also an Aboriginal Youth Officer at Acmena in Grafton.
"It's nice to win one," Beetson said. "This little bloke does a lot of things wrong but once he gets that out of his system he might win a couple more.
"We've had a bit of a lean trot lately but this horse makes it all worthwhile."