In a complete contrast to the meeting held in August, sunny skies and warm weather greeted punters at Inverell on Saturday for the traditional meeting held on Caulfield Cup Day.
Most of the local trainers were able to support the meeting with runners but only Nathaniel Scott made it to the winner’s circle when locally owned Bella’s Choice won the MacIntyre Gas Maiden by two and three quarter lengths as $2.50 favourite.
Bella’s Choice was bred locally by the Worgan family who continue their long association with racing in Inverell and local apprentice Zoe-Lee Cruickshank wore the distinctive Worgan family colours of black, red sash and cap to victory.
Bella’s Choice defeated another local with Allan Foran adding to his collection of seconds as Super Rocker, starting at big odds, looked a chance halfway down the straight but could not match the winner.
The Worgan team nearly made it a race to race double with Try Me Choice running second in race in the following race. Both horses are raced in partnership with Rob McIntosh who now owns the property “Morvada” Mt Russell which older racegoers will recall was a prolific horse stud when owned by Max Woods until dispersed in the early 1980’s.
It was an exciting few hours for connections as McIntosh has a high class racehorse bearing the property name Morvada which is already the winner of almost half a million dollars and was narrowly beaten in a stakes race at Caulfield shortly after the Choice horses raced at Inverell.
Timely Bel, who defeated Try Me Choice, gave Glen Innes’ Ned Coldbeck his first win as a trainer after taking over the care of a group of horses owned by the Wain family. It was a similar story in the last race, with Moree’s John Bourke training his first winner when Ringside fought back to beat Gold Skye in the only photo finish of the day in the Sutton Insurance Handicap.
Inverell next races on 14 November when the features will be the Diggers Cup and the special conditions Battlers Cup. The Battlers Cup conditions have had to be altered a previously only horses that had raced at the small one-day clubs were eligible. As Covid has caused the abandonment of those meetings such as Bundarra the race will now be run as a reverse benchmark handicap, giving priority ballots to horses at or below the 50 benchmark.