McGuren stays in touch with hometown double
2020-21 NORTHERN RIVERS RACING ASSOCIATION PREMIERSHIPS
Unofficial and compiled by Geoff Newling after the Tuesday, October 20 Grafton meeting.
14: Matt Dunn
9: Brett Bellamy
6: Edward O’Rourke, John Shelton
5: Warren Gavenlock
4: Jim Jarvis
3: Daniel Bowen, Brett Dodson, Stephen Lee, Paul Smith
17: Ben Looker
14: Matt McGuren
12: Luke Rolls
10: Ray Spokes
9: Kirk Matheson
7: Jon Grisedale, Belinda Hodder
6: Leah Kilner, Kyle Wilson-Taylor
5: Emily Atkinson
MATTHEW McGuren gained ground on Ben Looker in the 2020/21 Northern Rivers Racing Association Jockeys Premiership with an impressive double at Clarence River Jockey Club on Tuesday, while two photo finishes denied the Grafton jockey a winning treble.
McGuren, who has won the premiership the past five years, now has 14 wins so far this season, three behind Ben Looker.
McGuren’s familiar lethal combination with trainer Matthew Dunn struck in the second race of the day when $2.15 favourite Helmet Head dazzled in the Red Hot Hair Maiden Handicap (1700m).
He added another win in the last when Wicked Wench won by two lengths in the Happy 60th Warwick Dries Fillies and Mares Class 1 Handicap (1100m)
However, McGuren was denied a win on Dwayne Schmidt trained Auszone ($7) in race 3 the Jacqui’s Shoe and Clothing Boutique Maiden Plate (1400m) when Jason Reilly trained Sam’s A Fox ($51, Kirk Matheson) swooped late on the outside to win in a three-way photo, with Barry Ratcliff trained Shortaz ($2.50fav, Raymond Spokes) third on the inside.
History repeated in the next race when a final lunge to the line from another outsider Queen Gina ($17, Spokes) denied McGuren and Dunn another win with Vivendo Il Sogno ($17) in the Connor Class 2 Handicap (1400m).
Vivendo Il Sogno hit the lead with 200m to travel, however the Paul Smith trained five-year-old black mare pulled back two lengths in the final 100m to claim the win, once again down the outside alley.
It was a similar story yet again in race seven the Jacaranda Grove Grafton Jacaranda Prelude (1100m) when Shane Edmonds trained outsider Free Billy ($26, Kyle Wilson-Taylor) came down the outside from last to steal victory in the final stride from John Shelton trained $2.90 favourite Jule’s Spirit (Luke Rolls).
That particular result denied Shelton and Rolls a consecutive double, after Tara Jasmine ($3.50fav) had a much easier task winning by two lengths in the Angourie Resort Maiden Handicap (1100m) over Dunn trained Le Figaro ($4, McGuren) with third place Cathy Chapman trained La Cronica ($26, Mikayla Weir) five lengths from the winner.
It was an exciting debut for the three-year-old daughter of Cowboy Blue on her home track, who pounced at the 200m.
Earlier six-year-old mare Karlu Dreaming ($19, Mikayla Weir) won for just the second time at start number 38.
Trained by Hilary Dew the daughter of Ocean Park was too strong for her opponents in the Sweet Sisters Boutique Benchmark 58 Handicap (2200m).
Meanwhile Shane Everson trained Rioli ($4.80, Jon Grisedale) claimed the opening race of the day the Blue Dolphin Holiday Resort Yamba Colts, Geldings and Entires Class One Handicap (1100m) in a three-way photo finish from Greg Kilner trained pair Volfoni ($11, Leah Kilner) and Swanston ($3.40fav, Rolls). The win ended a run of 25 starts without a win for the six-year-old gelding’s since winning on debut at Sale in September 2017.
Looker was unable to add to his 17 winners for the season, fourth on Adelita Rose ($12) in the last his best effort from five runners on the day.