Muswellbrook victory gives jockey Christian Reith a successful double at Skellatar Park


JOCKEY Christian Reith was “dirty” on himself for his poor ride in the previous race but made up for it by steering the Cameron Crocket-trained 10-year-old Ricci Royal to a close win in the Bengalla Cup (1280m) at Muswellbrook on Sunday.

“I rode a poor race on Panzerfaust in the previous race and was determined not to make the same mistake in this race,” Reith said.

“Everything panned out well.”

Ricci Royal has found a new lease of life since going to the Crocket stable with three wins from his last five starts.

“This horse does not know how old he is and he has not had a lot of racing,” Crockett said.

“When he came to me he did not have a lot of confidence, but we have over-come that.

“If you look after these older horses they will look after you.”

While Reith had Panzerfaust back second last then went wide on the turn he had Ricci Royal racing mid field then got up along the fence to grab Tim’s Principal and the early leader and favourite Radiant Choice to win in the last few strides.

The win gave Reith a double after earlier winning the Muswellbrook Chronicle Benchmark 65 on the Jason Coyle-trained Little Red Shoes.




GEORGIE Cavanough celebrated her return home when she led in Norske Code for her father Brett after the filly, ridden by Skye Bogenhuber, led all the way to win the Muswellbrook Coal Company Three-Year-Old Maiden (1000m) in class record time.

The triumph came at the filly’s second start after running ninth, on debut, at Muswellbrook last month.

“She got pushed wide on the turn in that race and lost about five lengths and that was how far she was beaten so it was a good effort,” Georgie said.

Georgie returned home two weeks ago after 18 months in England and Ireland which included a year at the Irish National Stud as Vinery Stud’s nominee.

“It was a brilliant experience and I loved Ireland,” she said.

“I am back working at Vinery and helping Dad at the weekends.”

Bogenhuber used her inside draw to push Norske Code ($5) along the fence after dwelling at the start to win by a length from the $51 outsider Little Archie (Rachael Murray) which tried hard but could not bridge the gap.

The favourite, Celosia, was simply run off her legs to finish third.

Norske Code’s winning time, 57.44secs easily eclipsed the previous class record of 58.1 seconds, which had stood since 1999.


GOSFORD trainer Greg McFarlane might test Our Winnie over more ground following her fast finishing win in the BJ’s Workwear Benchmark 58 (1500m).

That followed her maiden win over 1600 metres two weeks earlier.

“I might look for another race over a bit more ground then give her a spell,” McFarlane said.

“We tried her over 1800 metres at Hawkesbury in May, but she did not see it out but with a spell she should come back stronger and with a bit more maturity.”

The race took on a different complexion when New Endeavour knuckled on jumping and dislodged Chad Lever.

New Endeavour then went to the lead and played havoc with several of the leaders.

In the straight he got to the outside of the leader Fiscal Policy and forced him towards the inside rail.

Our Winnie, which had also suffered some interference from the riderless horse near the turn, set out after the leader and caught it near to the line to win by a short head.

“Her work during the week was outstanding and I told Aaron that if there was no pace on not to be afraid to be up near the lead,” McFarlane said.  


FORMER South Australian sprinter Arugula continued his winning way and gave Greg Ryan the second leg of a double in the Wear Services Class One (1280m).

That took his record to two wins from five starts for the Armidale based Stirling Osland since the horse was switched to him by owner Michael Sandblom from Hollymount Stud.

“Michael is sending some of these horses to me that aren’t going to make the grade in the city,” Osland said.

“This horse was not up to provincial grade in South Australia but is doing well since he came to us.”

Arugula won by half a length from Panzerfaust (Christian Reith) with that horse back second last to near the turn from her wide alley.

Reith took her very wide in the straight and while she made up a lot of ground she had been set too hard a task.

It was that ride which angered him and prompted his winning ride in Ricci Royal.


TRAINER Geoff O’Brien had the final say and it proved to be the right one when Domnica ($3.60) won a drama-packed Muswellbrook and District Workers Club Maiden (1750m) with Greg Ryan aboard.

“The owners did not think she could run the distance, but I was sure she could,” O’Brien said.

“I persevered and it’s good to pull the right rein sometimes.”

However, O’Brien and Ryan might have been lucky.

The Paul Perry-trained favourite High Flight (Josh Adams) came from near last and looked set to go to the lead when the horse suddenly went to the outside fence despite the jockey’s best efforts.

“Josh was about to go past me then his horse went to the outside fence,” Ryan said.

Ryan had Dominica towards the rear of the field until he started to edge forward from the 700 metres.

He had a wall of horses in front of him in the early part of the straight but was able to move out, find a gap then go to the lead and beat High Flight by one and a half lengths.


GROUP One winning trainer Stephen Farley continued his successful return to the training ranks when Bryan’s Babe (Andrew Gibbons) won the Pumps and Pipeline Services Class One (1000m).

“That’s’ my fifth winner since I came back and I’m having the time of my life,” Farley said.

“I am never going back to full time training.

“My wife and I are just doing it as a hobby.”

Farley was outed for 12 months in May 2016 on a cobalt charge and went fencing and said he will continue with the trade.

Owner Wayne Brown switched Bryan’s Babe to Farley earlier in the year and at her first start for him ran a good fifth at Wyong beaten less than four lengths.

“That was a nice win,” Farley said.

“She really sprinted when Andrew asked her for an effort.

“She will win more races.”

Gibbons had her mid-field early then got a split in the straight to win by one and three-quarter lengths from the favourite Heredero (Aaron Bullock).