Robert Thompson sealed the 2017/18 Cessnock Jockey’s Premiership when he booted home a double at Tuesday’s Cessnock meeting, transferred to Newcastle. Thompson was two wins clear of Aaron Bullock going into the meeting and while Bullock was aboard two favourites, he failed to ride a winner. Thompson only had two rides - Cunningar Lass in the 900 metre Australian Bloodstock Benchmark 55 and Port Gold in the 1350 metre Sharp Electronics Group Benchmark 55.
Cunningar Lass’ only previous win was in an 800 metre Gilgandra Maiden in February, but he trialled nicely at Newcastle on July 12. The Hall of Fame jockey held the mare up behind the speed and she nailed the $101 chance Double Pluggers on the line.
Taree mare Port Gold staged a form reversal in the final race after disappointing recent form at Port Macquarie. Port Gold was on her last chance as she was going to be retired if she didn’t perform. She held off the unlucky African Guy to win by half a length.
Thompson is heading to Coffs Harbour on Thursday to ride the Kemble Grange trained Darcie’s Affair in the Cup. The eight-year-old is chasing back to back Coffs Harbour Cups after RT rode him to victory in 2017. Thompson rode 67 winners in New South Wales during the season and he finished the season with a career tally of 4362. He will fly to Cairns on Friday to ride at their carnival on the weekend.
Rachel Murray also landed a double at Newcastle’s meeting. Murray extracted the best from the South Coast gelding Arrows Destiny in the 1570 metre Yarraman Park Stud Class 2. Favourite Serious Dancer travelled like a winner up front, but Arrows Destiny was on his tail all the way and outstayed the favourite. Later in the day Murray steered Warwick Farm filly Flying Inferno to victory in the 900 metre IGA Liquor Maiden Plate. Murray completed the season with 61 winners to follow on from her century of winners in 2017/18.
Tough Hawkesbury trained Dad’s Boy backed up from a Gosford placing on Saturday to outclass his rivals in the 2360 metre Cessnock Leagues Club Class 1 & Maiden. An odds on favourite, Dad’s Boy raced away to win by more than four lengths.
Other winners on the seven-race program were the former Victorian Matakauri in the 1350 metre Hungerford Hill Wines Maiden and Lady Chalfont in the East Cessnock Bowling Club Class 3 (1200m).
The next Cessnock meeting is scheduled for Monday 17 September.