Locals make light work of heavy track
THE mudlark Danny Bowen/Darron Coleman combination made the most of heavy conditions at Lismore Turf Club yesterday to score two winners in the seven-race program.
Persistent showers throughout yesterday afternoon made racing difficult and caused plenty of delays.
Stewards assessed the track after the first race and downgraded it to a 'heavy 10' and from then on it became a guessing game about whether each subsequent race would go ahead.
But Bowen, the Ballina-based trainer, and Coleman, his long-time jockey, revelled in the conditions and made the most of the opportunities provided by the opening to Lismore's appropriately billed 'autumn' racing season.
“Darron and I have been a good combination since 1989,” Bowen said.
“He's been apprenticed to me and he's superior to all the other riders, so many years on.
“Not that the other blokes don't know how to ride, it's just that he gives you 100 per cent all the time. He's sort of like family.
“I'm confident when he gets on, I don't have to tell him much, he knows what to do and the horses are fit.”
Coleman guided the $3.50 chance Towelling to a win in the first race of the day, the Jack Newell Maiden Handicap (1100m), and then backed it up in the Peter Warren Class 2 Handicap (1000m) with a two-length victory onboard Smoking Epic.
Although Coleman could only manage a fourth behind the Coffs Harbour-based Irish Cross in the Bank of Queensland Lismore Rating 72 Handicap (1516m), he bounced back for a third on I'm Desperate in race four on the program, the Bob Vidler Maiden Plate (1400m).
The results have greatly enhanced Bowen's chances in the Northern Rivers Racing Association premiership race and helped Coleman bridge the behind Joshua Jones at the top of the jockeys list.
“I've finished second a lot of times,” Bowen said. “But he [Coleman] has won a heap of them.
“He probably should have won the last couple, but he was injured and was on the sidelines. He only virtually rode seven months of the season.
“He's honest and consistent, he's at the track every day and he deserves what he gets.”
The seasoned hoop was a little more circumspect about his own chances of taking out the premiership.
“It all helps. There's a long way to go, but every win is a bonus,” Coleman said.