WARWICK Farm trainer Mark de Montfort rates Muswellbrook as his happy hunting ground and he is planning another trip to Skellatar Park on Monday in search of more success.
de Montfort broke a frustrating run when Chief Kidder won at the last Muswellbrook meeting a little more than two weeks ago and this time he is bringing seven-year-old Ready Set Sing for the John Robinson Memorial Benchmark 55 (1280m).
The race will honour the memory of the long-time local trainer who died in 2010 after a lengthy battle with cancer.
“They gave dad three years and he lasted five,” his son and Muswellbrook-based trainer, Andrew Robinson, said.
“He fought it all the way.”
Both his sons, Andrew and Taree-based trainer Matthew, worked with their father in their formative years before going into metropolitan and larger country stables then branching out on their own.
“Dad continually told us the most important thing in training is patience and in this game you need plenty of that,” Andrew said.
“He had some good horses but probably the best three were Noke, Radiant Lindy and Mathandy.”
Matthew is not the only one to continue the family’s association with racing in Muswellbrook.
His widow, Dot, is the club’s track work supervisor and also looks after all the gardens on the track.
“Dot is our number one employee and one of our few life members,” Muswellbrook Race Club’s manager Duane Dowell said.
“She is a tireless worker for the club.”
Ready Set Sing has the form to win a race like this even though he has been back near the tail-enders at his past two starts at Hawkesbury and Kembla Grange.
“There was a lot of speed on in those two races and they ran home very fast times over the last 600m,” de Montfort said.
Prior to that Ready Set Sing ran thirds at Warwick Farm and Goulburn.
Ironically his last win was 12 months and three days ago at Hawkesbury.
The other feature, the TAB.COM.AU Hunter River Stayers Cup (2300m) has drawn a field of 11, the biggest in the history of the race.
“We are usually light on with numbers in this race but we have persevered over the years to cater for those owners and trainers with stayers,” Dowell said.
Paul Perry won this race last year with The Bohemian and the horse goes into the race second up from a freshen up in a bid to make it a double.
Paul King rode him last year but Chad Lever is the new rider this time.
Lever also links with Kim Waugh again on Boca Grande in the Caravaggio @ Coolmore Class Two (1450m).
Lever won on the flashy three-year-old when he resumed from a spell the win the three-year-old maiden here at the previous meeting.
Boca Grande is the first foal from Waugh’s former good mare Kimillsy and was bred by her husband and just retired Australian cricket selector Mark Waugh.