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SEPTEMBER 22, 2023:  NEW York City got its nickname “The Big Apple” back in the 1920s from a catchphrase referring to the area’s big-time horse racing venues.

Now the well-named equine Big Apple is ready to have his first New South Wales start at his new home at Kembla Grange tomorrow, and trainer Joe Ible is hoping for a fruitful debut.

Ible’s five-year-old, a son of Manhattan Rain (Manhattan is the most densely populated of the five New York City boroughs), lines up in the Brad Kerr Provincial Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m).

Former Victorian Big Apple ($3.10 favorite this morning with hasn’t raced since April when unplaced in a Benchmark 78 Handicap (1200m) at the Mornington Cup metropolitan meeting, and Ible purchased him online the following month for $35,000, and syndicated him amongst clients.

“He had good Saturday metropolitan form in Melbourne, but had lost his way a bit,” Ible said last night.

“I felt he was worth a try with a plan to attempt to reignite his passion for racing.

“I have taken him along steadily, and he is going great.

“Ible Racing retained a percentage of him, and syndicated the remainder of shares amongst clients.

“There are a lot of happy people at present, and hopefully they will be even happier after Saturday.”

Louise Day, Ible’s second most successful jockey with 10 wins, will ride Big Apple. 

“Louise is a fantastic rider, and helps us out in trials and jumpouts and comes to Kembla Grange whenever possible to ride work,” Ible said.

Big Apple has trialled twice at Hawkesbury under Ible’s care and was placed both times. He ran third in a 1000m heat on August 21, and filled the same position (with Day aboard) in an 800m heat there on September 11.

Ible, now well settled at Kembla Grange after relocating from Canberra, is coming off his best season so far, preparing 20 winners in the 2022-23 racing year.

He has decided to race Big Apple without winkers, explaining he doesn’t believe he needs them to perform to his best.

The gelding’s two Victorian wins included a Saturday Caulfield 3YO Handicap (1200m) in July last year.

Interestingly, he defeated Pounding, who subsequently won four races and was placed in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington in March.

The recent 1600m Coffs Harbour Cup winner Attractable was unplaced in that Caulfield race.

Along with winkers coming off Big Apple, there are two other important gear changes on his Kembla rivals – and both are also locals.

Trainer Theresa Bateup has opted to remove blinkers from Divine Breath, who is having her second start this campaign, whilst it’s the opposite with C’mon Mate, his trainer Ross McConville preferring to put the shades on for the first time.

Six of the nine acceptors for the Provincial Benchmark 64 Handicap are from Kembla Grange stables.

As well as Divine Breath, Bateup also has Hope Uno (Jess Taylor), Kerry Parker has Maresca (Mitchell Bell), and Rob and Luke Price have dual venue acceptor Headstock (Keagan Latham).

The Headwater four-year-old, who is in excellent form, is third emergency for the Midway Handicap (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow, and has drawn poorly.

Big Apple is one of three Ible acceptors for the Kembla program, but The Carpet Bagger will be an absentee as he runs in the closer at Goulburn today.

However, $7.50 chance Jinsoku (Day) will line up in the Midway Maiden Plate (1200m) for only his second start.

The Supido three-year-old was well in the market and started a $3.70 second favorite on debut when fifth to Spirit Of Varanasi in a Provincial Maiden Handicap (1000m) at home on September 14.

“Jinsoku is still raw and not the most straight forward horse yet, but definitely has talent,” Ible said.

. The rail is out 3m from the 1100m to the winning post, and in the TRUE position for the remainder of the circuit.

Course manager Dave Anderson this morning posted a “Soft 5” rating following 11mm of rain in the last 24 hours.

The eight-race program begins at 12.45pm with the running of the CG&E Maiden Handicap (1400m).

*Words John Curtis, September 22, 2023 - Pic supplied*

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