Locals chasing success at Narrandera

Riverbend Chief will contest the 1200m Benchmark 50 Handicap for owner Graeme Mathieson and trainer Wayne Carroll. Photo: Narrandera Race Club Facebook.

Wayne Carroll will have the job of preparing two locally owned chances when Narrandera Race Club host their six-race-program on Saturday. 

The Wagga trainer will race the Graeme Mathieson bred and owned Riverbend Chief in the 1200m Benchmark 50 Handicap and Make A Right in the 1400m Maiden Handicap – both of whom are by Shrapnel and out of Mathieson’s mare, Riverbend Star.

Carroll was looking forward to racing at Narrandera, who were kicking off their winter racing season. 

“I’ve raced there over the years and the track has improved a lot,” Carroll said. 

“It’s a fantastic wet-weather track, we should be racing more there over the winter months, they should transfer more races there.”

Riverbend Chief looks the more interesting runner of the pair, with the seven-year-old having his first run in 46 weeks.

The former Trevor Sutherland galloper is a winner of six races and $70,000 in prizemoney and will have his first start for Carroll. 

“I’m just thinking, with it being his first up run after 12 months off, we will see how he goes,” Carroll said. 

“He has had some leg issues. He is sound at the moment and going really well and we are happy with how he sits.

“I think this will be a nice race to start his campaign.”

Make A Right, who was also trained by Trevor Sutherland, is a four-year-old mare who is yet to break her maiden after seven starts.

Carroll is confident of a strong showing after Make A Right exhibited enough during her first three starts for the stable.

“Her first two starts for us, she went to Albury and ran fifth and was only beaten a small margin to second,” Carroll said.

“She then went to Albury and didn’t handle the track and ran a good race to finish second.

“We then went to Wagga, and we expected her to win, but she blundered at the start, got too far back and hit the line nicely.”

The drop back to TAB 2 racing should suit the mare, and Carroll said her owners would appreciate the chance to watch her race and possibly win on their home track.

“It worked out well. There are no 1400m races in the area, so we elected to go to Narrandera, where Graeme and her owners can watch her race, and where we think she can be a major player,” Carroll said.

It shapes as a big day for Narrandera Race Club, who open their gates at 11am.

There will be a cooked lunch, air-conditioned comfort in the bar and a canteen and bookies available all day.