Over the Border, Corowa Cup 2015

Over the border to rob and to plunder,

Over the border went Morgan the Bold,

Over the Border to rob and to plunder,

Over the border poor Morgan lies cold.

We set off heading over the border from Victoria to New South Wales, hoping to win our plunder on the Corowa race track. The idea was the exact opposite of the opening stanza of the old bush ballad re the bushranger, ‘Mad Dog’ Dan Morgan. Just briefly, Morgan spent around three years robbing and plundering in the Riverina region of New South Wales. Victorian police boasted he would not last a week if he crossed into Victoria. He took their word; they were right. After a few days he was shot dead at Peechalba station near Wangarrata  As we were crossing the border in the opposite direction, we hoped for better luck!

Arriving in Corowa where better to start our day than at the chocolate factory, situated in the old flour mill. This is a wonderful local business, based on a similar model in Junee. In both towns old, disused flour mills have been successfully converted into  flourishing businesses. Yes, I know we have far too much sugar in our diets, but I don’t mind a good organic dark chocolate. Yep, all the chocolate made there is certified organic. Highly recommended.

This was our first vist to the track in 2015, missing the non-TAB meeting in February as we chose to go down river to Echuca for the Riverboats festival, which turned out to a superior choice for quite a few good reasons.  Amongst those reasons are Adalita, Dan Sultan, Diesel, and Sarah Blaskow, compunded by the fact the Corowa meeting was abandoned after race two due to a heavy downpour. But come Cup Day 2015 we were here.

Local trainers were under represented. the Freyer stable had Infuse accepted for the Cup, but it was scratched the day prior. This horse, which was a successful juvenile when owned by Lloyd Williams, has been with the Freyer stable for nigh over two years, but in its few starts for the stable has tailed of the field. Racing is a hard game. The best performed of the locals was the Mandie Jones trained Hardenup, who ran a gallant second in his race. This horse is indeed a track specialist. In its  30 starts all 4 wins have been on its home track. It has been placed 6 times, thrice in Corowa.  Also a few well known stables in the Riverina, notably Emma Steel in Berrigan, and Phil Sweeney in Jerilderie, did not have runners. Both stables are regularlly represented on track in Corowa, but not Cup Day 2015.

The day started with a 900 metre maiden, a small field of four starters greeting us. Originally there were six runners, four of whom were trained in Wagga by “Big” Trevor Sutherland, who however scratched a pair of them. His remaining two horses ran second, and fourth. The winner, Little Sure Shot, a first starter is trained in Braidwood by Aaron Clarke. It’s a decent drive over the Snowy Mountains from Braidwood to Corowa.

To return to Trevor Sutherland, he seems an interesting character. Horses he trains appear far and wide throughout NSW, TAB, non-TAB and picnics, Trevor having runners at Ardlethan when we’ve been there. Just to show how multi skilled he is, he also drives trotters. Trevor gets around in the horse business.

Riding honours for the day went to the  apprentice Jason Collins, riding a double on what was a good weekend for him. Training honours to Tumut based Kerry Weir, who got a double including the Cup winner Sand Dune. This is the second Corowa Cup for Weir. Interestingly the horse which has run second both times Weir has been successful, was the Brian Cox trained horse from Wodonga, He’s An Angel.

Labour Day weekends can be quite good for the Cox stables. In 2014 they scooped a trifecta on that weekend winning the Towong, Echuca and Corowa Cups. A bit less success in 2015. Again the weekend started with a Towong Cup win on the Saturday, but as we saw in Corowa the stable could only achieve a second, whilst in Echuca they couldn’t obtain a placing in the feature race.

Did we plunder? No!  Started well but the days fortunes plummeted in sixth where Calke Abbey finished in that most frustrating of spots ; fourth. A good degree of money was invested in this horse, and when it didn’t deliver, the plunder was gone. Not all gloom and doom however as unlike Dan Morgan, we live to plan future plunder.

The next race meeting on the radar is again, across the border, Berrigan on March 21. Watch this space. Happy punting.



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