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  • Provincial Racing NSW


KEMBLA Grange trainer Kerry Parker is hoping to end the year with a bang at the weekend.

And two of his hopes will carry the same Bylong Park colours as his stable champ Think It Over.

Equilibrist lines up at home in a CG&E Maiden Handicap (1400m) on Saturday, whilst Moorestown is an acceptor for the Midway Benchmark 72 Handicap (1400m) at Royal Randwick.

Koby Jennings has been booked for Equilibrist, and Tom Sherry has the mount on Moorestown.

Equilibrist is a three-year-old son of Trapeze Artist from the Lonhro mare Munhro, who died in October. The gelding has raced only once, finishing fifth in a 1200m Midway Maiden Handicap at home on December 14.

Stewards reported he began awkwardly and raced wide and without cover from the 800m, and his rider Kerrin McEvoy said he became unbalanced on a number of occasions due to the strong crosswind that day.

“Equilibrist is still learning, and will be all the better from the experience of that first run,” Parker said.

“He is a nice type and I’m expecting the 1400m will be more suitable.”

Parker was disappointed when Moorestown drew the outside barrier for his Randwick assignment, but still expects to run him.

“I also nominated him for a Benchmark 64 Handicap (1400m) at home on Wednesday, but the speed map looks okay at Randwick,” he said.

“His first run back when a close fourth in a Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m) on December 9 was good off the back of one trial over 820m in late November, and he has taken natural improvement from that run.

“He carried 60kg then, and comes down to 55.5kg at Randwick.”

Moorestown, a four-year-old son of Shalaa, has won twice – at home 12 months ago in a 1200m Maiden, and at Hawkesbury in a July in a 1500m Benchmark 64 Handicap.

Parker, who has trained six winners so far this season (including the $1m 7 Stakes, 1600m at Randwick in September with Think It Over), has six acceptors at his home track’s final meeting of the calendar year – and two of them (Laskarina and Bush Girl) are also engaged at Nowra on Sunday.

“I’ll have a closer look at the fields for both meetings and decide which way we go,” he said.

Laskarina (Brock Ryan) is in a Class 1/Maiden Plate (2000m) at Kembla Grange, and a similar grade race at Nowra, but over 2200m, where Brendan Ward has been engaged. She has drawn poorly at both venues.

Bush Girl (Grant Buckley) is in a 1400m Maiden Handicap against her own sex at Kembla Grange, and has drawn better in a 1600m Maiden Plate at Nowra.

Parker’s other Kembla Grange acceptors are:

. Daffers (apprentice Jess Del Frari) and Rose To Win (Ryan) in the Midway Maiden Plate (1000m); and

. Justela (Lee Magorrian) in the Provincial Benchmark 68 Handicap (1600m).

Justela led to beat six rivals in a Midway Class 1 Handicap (1600m) at Wyong on November 29 before finishing last of seven in a Class 2 Handicap over the same distance at Nowra on December 10, where she lost ground quickly from the 450m and wasn’t tested in the straight.

A subsequent veterinary examination revealed the mare to have cardiac arrthymia, and she had to trial before being cleared to resume her racing career.

“Justela did that at home eight days later, finishing third in an 820m heat, and is ready to go back to the races,” Parker said.

 Stewards have given Parker approval for Magorrian to ride the mare 0.5kg over at 55.5kg, and similarly for Jennings earlier to ride Equilibrist 0.5kg over at 57kg.

. The rail is in the TRUE position for the seven-race program, which begins at 2pm.

Story John Curtis, December 29, 2023 - Pics Bradley Photos

. Michael Craig’s selections are:

 Race 1              3 Yarrawonga better for one run back

1 Silent Russian stepping up to a suitable distance

6 Suit Of Armour made up plenty of ground last start


Race 2              8 Ballet D’Esprit very impressive in recent trial

                        13 Monte Kate honest run at only start

                        4 Reckless Intention could show up fresh


Race 3              7 Alacrity ran on ok first up and will be fitter

3 Invade and Conquer very consistent performer

4 Abuse Of Power will be near the lead throughout


Race 4              2 Fugitiva worked home strongly on debut

11 Thaibeefsalade good chance again

                        5 Figment worth another chance


Race 5              4 Carpet Bagger has been racing well in the city

                        5 This Is The Moment hard to fault in 2 local starts

                        8 Hope Uno could be the value runner


Race 6              7 Nieces And Nephews looking for 3 in a row

                        4 Hellfire Express up in grade but looks promising

                             8 Spats Pav Bowie fought on bravely last start


Race 7              11 Ring Me Up expect a big effort first up

                        1 Vinnie’s Spirit can improve on last run

                        6 Mirra Impact fitter for a recent trial



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