Favourites dominate at Coonamble 

Punters were treated to early Christmas presents when favourites won the first six races on Sunday at Coonamble.

The only favourite to miss out was Overextend (2.50) in the final event; however, there were admirers for the winner Driving Force ($10) in the 1200m Geronimo Farm Equipment-New Holland Benchmark 66 Handicap.

A last-start winner at Gundagai, the Darren Hyde, Dubbo-trained Driving Force, looked in trouble when near last and was trapped behind a wall of horses when turning for home at Coonamble.

When the apprentice jockey Mitch Stapleford found clear running, Driving Force charged home to win by a short neck from Titration (Nick Heywood, $4) with a half-length to third-placed Beauchamp (Shayleigh Ingelse, $13).

First to unwrap their presents at Coonamble were the owners of the Clint Lundholm, Dubbo-trained South Bullaway (Will Stanley, $1.95 favourite), which was an all-the-way winner of the 1100m Swanny’s Foods/Wardi Insurance Broking Maiden Handicap.

Wyong trainer Damien Lane, like Clint Lundholm, is formerly from Coonamble, and he landed a winning double with Go Isla Go (Clayton Gallagher, $1.45 to $1.24 favourite) in the 1200m Grays Auto Electrical Coonamble Auto Spares Super Maiden Plate and Zedari (Clayton Gallagher, $2.70 fav.) in the 1300m Elders Class 2 Handicap.

Scone trainer Rod Northam produced the four-year-old debutant Casino Stage for a most impressive win in the m Jake Kaye Contracting Country Boosted Maiden Plate.

Finishing quickly, Casino Stage (Chelsea Hillier, $2.50 fav.) scored by a half-length from The Nomad (Serg Lisnyy, $2.60) and Rebel Flyer, Nick Heywood, $5).

Rod Northam and apprentice Chelsea Hillier completed a winning double when Love Rules $1.70 fav.) took the lead approaching the home turn and cleared out to win the 2000m Moe Jacobs Plumbing Class 1 & Maiden Plate by over three lengths from World Reign (Michael Heagney, $5.50) and Springstreet Blues (Zoe Hunt, $20).

Chelsea Hillier and Rod Northam also combined with three-year-old filly Sebilla ($6.50), which, on debut, appealed as a horse to follow when finishing powerfully from a long way back when second to Go Isla Go in the following race.

Continuing the run of winning favourites at Coonamble, the Cameron Crockett, Scone-trained Leica Storm (Nick Heywood, $2.90 fav.) parked behind the leaders before scoring a close win over Order Of Merit (Will Stanley, $4.80) and Ringside (Shayleigh Ingelse, $15) in the 1400 metres Halcroft & Bennett Country Boosted Benchmark 58 Handicap.

Coonamble Jockey Club will host the Western Racing Association qualifier on Sunday, March 17, for the Newhaven Park Country Championship.

Central and Western Districts racing heads to Dubbo on Saturday, Wellington on Boxing Day, Orange on Thursday, and Gilgandra on Saturday.

The Gilgandra Cup is on Sunday, January 7, with a Calcutta the previous night featuring the one and only Greg Ryan.