Well, what a weekend it was for NSW Country racing.
It’s hard not to start out on Friday, with the Tweed River Jockey Club and their Murwillumbah Cup meeting, which also saw the running of the Murwillumbah Newmarket Handicap and a cracking eight-race Showcase program.
As many already know, Grafton apprentice Jasper Franklin had a field day, riding four winners from just four rides.
The 18-year-old has impressed many racing fans during his 41-stat career and there is no doubting his name will become synonymous with racing in the Northern Rivers and Mid North Coast region in the months to come.
Also at Murwillumbah, Franklin’s master and Grafton trainer Matthew Dunn trained four winners, with Green Protector (Matthew McGuren), Courageous (Franklin), Deliberation (McGuren) and Sweeping The Board (Franklin) all greeting the judge first, while Ready To Humble finished runner up in the main race.
In the feature event of the day, Stewart Campbell and Ben Looker combined to win the $50,000 Murwillumbah Cup with Macchina Volante, holding off Ready to Humble and Willo Titto.
In the $40,000 Newmarket, Daniel Bowen teamed up with Kirk Matheson when Amirykal won the 1200m jump and run event, holding off See It Thru and Zanthus. For full Murwillumbah results, readers can click here.
At Gilgandra, the annual Collie Cup race day was a TAB 2 meeting, and credit to the hardworking committee who also posted race-day videos of the action, keeping fans up to date.
Clayton Gallagher took honours in the saddle, riding a double and taking out the Collie Cup, firstly winning on the Kylie Kennedy trained Padrone in the 1000m Maiden Plate before winning the feature on the Dar Lunn prepared Classy Rebel.
The Dubbo trained Classy Rebel has been on the rise in recent months and just keeps on performing, with his gutsy front running style proving too hard for rivals to overcome.
In the Collie Cup, Classy Rebel held started the $3.50 favourite and held off second favourite Patrick May and Gadfly to win the $17,000 event.
For full Gilgandra results, click here.
In a terrific gesture to participants desperate for a community meeting, Berrigan and District Race Club still hosted their meeting on Saturday, despite the non-TAB race day being closed to the public.
Still, the hard-working committee shared results, photos and videos in a timely fashion on their social media platforms.
As far as the racing, veteran hoop Michael Heagney bookended the meeting, winning the first race, the 950m Maiden Plate on the Erin Maher trained Spiteful and the last race, 1600m Benchmark 50 Handicap on the Rick Freyer trained Blazing Engine.
For full Berrigan results, click here.
The former English galloper was a few levels above his opposition, with Dylan Gibbons barely moving a muscle as the five-year-old ran away with a 5 and a half length victory.
It can be dangerous work getting excited about a country class one winner, but the stayer looks one to follow next time out.
In the saddle, jockey honours were won by Mikayla Weir, who rode a running double in the fourth and fifth events.
For full Tamworth results, click here.
Nowra rounded out a big weekend of action on Sunday with a busy seven-race program.
Warwick Farm trainer Matthew Smith combined with Blake Spriggs for a double.
The pair’s first win arrived in the third event, the 1400m Class One Handicap with Daralina Belle proving too good for her rivals as the $2.70 favourites.
The second came in the sixth race in the form of impressive three-year-old Way To The Stars.
The debutant was well supported after trials wins at Rosehill and Warwick Farm and he lived up to the hype, boulting in by more than three lengths.
One to watch out of the Nowra meeting is the Annabel Neasham trained Conegliano, who was another easy winner.
Brodie Loy sat midfield on the three-year-old before rounding the leaders up and putting them to the sword, winning comfortably in the end by 3.3 lengths.
For full Nowra results, click here.
It wouldn’t be a weekend wrap of country racing without mentioning the TAB Highway winner.
Racing at Royal Randwick on Saturday, The Scott Collings trained Ten Bells was given a glorious ride by Jason Collett in the 1100m Class Two Handicap.
Collett opted for the inside on the home turn, scrapping the paint as he stuck to the rails to win the $100,000 event from Foxie La Belle and Very Sharp.
This week, NSW Country racing takes us all over the state.
Monday: Bathurst & Lismore.
Tuesday: Queanbeyan & Scone.
Saturday: Goulburn, Gunnedah, Port Macquarie & Warren.