Lady Evelyn takes out Taree Cup Prelude

A very happy Josh Adams rode Eye Was to a win in the Taree Leagues and Sports Club Maiden Handicap. Photo: Rob Douglas.
A very happy Josh Adams rode Eye Was to a win in the Taree Leagues and Sports Club Maiden Handicap. Photo: Rob Douglas.

Five-year-old Newcastle mare Lady Evelyn ($6.50) stormed into $80,000 Taree Cup calculations next Sunday with a dominant win in the Cup Prelude at Manning Valley Race Club’s TAB meeting at Taree on Thursday.

No sooner had the unsaddling been sorted that trainer Jason Deamer was given an emphatic “yes” by jockey Andrew Gibbons to again ride the mare in the coveted 2000m race on August 19.

“She gave me a beautiful ride…she was dominant,” he told the trainer and connections, one being Al Chiswick from Sydney, a regular visitor to Taree races in long being an owner of racehorses with the Bob Milligan stable.

He has yearned to have a galloper capable of being in the prestigious cup and was all smiles after the win when posing for photos.

“A beautiful ride..and well trained,” Deamer said, tongue in cheek.

“She is not very big but the beautiful mare is a nice and relaxed type, which I believe will get the 2000m of the cup.”

Gibbons had Lady Evelyn being rated well in fifth spot early but once the accelerator was pressed she quickly put paid to Newcastle gelding Go Benny ($4.60), trained by Kris Lees, with just under two lengths to Newcastle trainer Paul Perry’s gelding Marathon ($5.50).

Disappointment of the race was Port Macquarie’s Mister Smartee, trained by Tas Morton, it leading but then finished well back.

Morton had better luck earlier when four-year-old gelding Better Not Fly ($18), ridden by Terry Treichel, made it two wins in a row and landed some good bets, one punter believed to have won about $30,000 with a string of off-course and on course bookmakers, in scoring by just under a length in the Adrian Owen Veterinarian Class 1 Handicap over 1250m.

There were a few anxious moments for those punters when a protest was lodged by jockey Jake Hull, rider of Titus, alleging interference, but stwards dismissed the objection.

“I was going to take my horse to town for a Highway but I put it off and decided to run him in country class again,” Morton said.

Treichel made it two wins on the card before he sped off for the Birdsville racing carnival when one of the most unlucky gallopers in the area, Port trainer Neil Godbolt’s Forever Alone ($11), snatched a half-length victory in the Fly Pelican Fashion On The Field Sun. August 19 Benchmark 58 Handicap over 1250m.

“My horse has run some good races here and been unlucky,” Godbolt said.

“He is racing better by being closer to the front but today I was worried by the barrier draw (outside).”

Gibbons also notched a winning double, his other being second-starter Bill ‘N’ Ted ($2.60) in the Taree Cup Calcutta 18/8 3YO Maiden Handicap over 1000m.

Its trainer from Gosford, Adam Duggan, left the saddling duties to fellow trainer Angela Davies, as he was with wife Jess and their new son, born on Monday.

Bill ‘N’ Ted and runner-up Raay Of Time ($3.90) from the Lees stable, had a battle royal up front before the promising Gosford gelding scored by nearly 1.5 lengths.

Consistent placegetter five-year-old mare Eye Was ($5), trained at Coffs Harbour by Brett Bellamy and ridden brilliantly by Josh Adams, scored by two lengths in the Taree League And Sports Club Maiden Handicap over 1600m.

Adams took advantage of the early speed to get to the rails from his outside barrier before angling Eye Was through a split to dart away.

Taree trainer Karen Owen followed up a win at Coffs with five-year-old mare Cheat’m ($6) to give Wauchope jockey Belinda Hodder another win in The Kosciuszko 13 October Benchmark 59 Handicap over 1000m at home.

Top provincial jockey Aaron Bullock combined with Newcastle trainer Benjamin Smith for a just over a length win with Cabriere ($3.20) in the Taree Crazy Day 18/8 Maiden Plate over 1300m.

Racing returns to Taree on Friday and Sunday as part of the Cup Carnival.