John Rolfe sets big team for Narrandera assault

John Rolfe will take a big team to Narrandera on Saturday. Photo: Bradley Photos.

Canberra trainer John Rolfe will travel to Narrandera on Saturday with a handful of gallopers taking on the non-TAB Southern Districts meeting.

Rolfe, who has enjoyed a good run of form, landing winners at Queanbeyan, Cooma, and Canberra in recent weeks, believes the meeting has come around at the right time for his stable. 

“It’s a non-TAB meeting, and we are trying to get a few into a weaker grade,” Rolfe said. 

“You need them races for the lower rated horses, otherwise you can’t get a run. 

“We have got 12 in work, and a few handy ones too, but with some of them, you need to try and find the right race, and it’s about placing them, and they get their chance at Narrandera.”

Rolfe is familiar with Narrandera, although he hasn’t made the four-hour trip recently, and he is looking forward to the community race day.

“We have had a fair few placings there before, and a winner, but we haven’t been there a great deal lately,” Rolfe said. 

“It should be a good day, especially being so close to Christmas, and they should get a good crowd.”

Rolfe will team up with apprentice jockey Zara Castellaz-Faico, with the four-kilogram claimer riding Little Complicated in the 1000 Maiden Plate, Talent Award in the 1200m Benchmark 50 Handicap, George’s Two in the 1600m Benchmark 50 Handicap, and Aerobatic Warrior in the 1000m Benchmark 50 Handicap.

When asked about his best chance on the program, Rolfe believes Aerobatic Warrior has found a winnable race. 

“It’s a big drop in class for him. He was given a lot of weight (64.5kg) but Zara is on board and the four kilo claim will help a lot,” Rolfe said. 

“He’s never raced in that sort of company, and 1000m is a bit short. He will get out over a mile again, but we are hoping class gets him there.”

Castellaz-Faico, who is apprentice to Pat Murphy, has been working closely with Rolfe, and he hopes the pair can land a well-deserved victory together. 

“She rides track work for me, and we are trying to get her a few wins and give her a few rides,” Rolfe said. 

Narrandera’s six-race-program jumps at 1.15pm on Saturday. 

Big crowd expected to flock to Narrandera 

Narrandera Race Club is gearing up for what should be one of their biggest meetings in recent memory, with a bumper crowd expected to be in attendance for Saturday’s six-race non-TAB community program. 

With live music, kid’s entertainment, fashions on the field, plenty of on-track and off-track action, and the stunning summer weather, Narrandera Race Club racing manager, Michael Bailey believes the town is building towards a huge race day. 

“The town is buzzing with everyone going, and I am expecting a really good crowd,” Bailey said.  

“Everyone is talking about it, and with the number of marquees we have booked, everyone on the committee feels it will be well patronised.”

With strong nominations leading to competitive fields, Bailey thanked supporting trainers and Racing NSW for making the meeting possible.

“With over 90 nominations for the six races, we have had really strong support from our trainer base, and that is especially important because we will be racing for lower than usual prizemoney considering it is a community meeting,” Bailey said. 

“We are very appreciative of Brian Charman, Scott Kennedy, and the board of Racing NSW for giving us a chance to host this summer Christmas meeting.

“We upgraded the irrigation four or five years ago, but we haven’t had the chance to race in the warmer months, and this is a very good opportunity for us, and hopefully we can prove it is a good meeting, and then next year we may be considered to host the meeting again.”

Bailey also offered his thanks to the Narrandera Shire Council for making the race day possible, as the meeting is funded by Reconnecting Regional NSW – Community Event Program.

For more on the race day, click here and for full fields, click here