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The big wet has gone and with drying tracks, trainers have new optimism with a mammoth nine capacity races with gallopers from Sydney to Grafton for Manning Valley Race Club's stand-alone TAB meeting at Taree on Tuesday.
The feature Johnson & Mongan Benchmark 58 Handicap over 1007m has enticed some of the horses which didn't get a run when a Taree meeting was abandoned on May 23 due to the wet weather to line up on Tuesday.
One of them is the speedy five-year-old local gelding Adamdeant, trained by Tony Ball, which should prove hard to beat.
The horse has a "wing on every hoof" and two of its five wins have been at the Bushland Drive track at Taree and over the distance. Those wins were on December 19 and January 2 before being spelled.
Adamdeant resumed over 900m at Newcastle on May 26 where the gelding finished ninth, beaten about 6.5 lengths: "For some reason, Adam just doesn't handle the Newcastle track," Ball said.
Then on June 10, Adamdeeant scorched to the lead and was just nabbed by a half-length by Schiller Bay, trained at Port Macquarie by Jenny Graham, the horse likely to next take on rich races at the upcoming Grafton Cup carnival.
Ball said his galloper has been bucking and playing and is 'ready to fire': "He loves the track and distance and will be ridden by Madeline Owen who takes a 2kg claim and knows him: "Only one way he races and that is with the handle bars down and go," he said.
Ball said he expected a little give in the track despite plenty of sunshine, but his charge handles all types of ground.
Another Taree trainer, in-form Glen Milligan, is relying on speed in the race as his four-year-old mare Faatinaat has two wins at 1100m and 1200m.
"Zac Wadick's claim will help and the mare should be fresh to give a good sight over 1000m at her resuming run. She will get back and then finish over the top of them," he hoped.
Port four-year-old mare Golden Fantasy, trained by Margaret De Gonneville, has had one start at Taree and that resulted in a win by six lengths over 1007m three starts back on heavy ground on May 2. Since the mare has had a second at home to handy Evocator and a sixth at Grafton.
An interesting runner is three-year-old gelding Stariks, trained at Rosehill by Lee & Cherie Curtis, and the duo are rare visitors to Taree. Three starts back Stariks scored by 3.74m over 1100m at Wellington on April 23 and its two runs since have been in provincial class.
Newcastle trainer Todd Howlett has four-year-old mare Miss Kojiki resuming from a spell and she could surprise. Taree trainer Ross Stitt's four-year-old gelding Casirini is heading to the Grafton Cup Carnival after trying to make it two wins in a row in the Horsepower Class 3 Handicap over 1614m.
The horse had heart problems when pulled up two starts back in a Highway race at Rosehill but resumed from a spell to score a nose win over 1450m at Muswellbrook on June 5.
Stitt said the problem at Rosehill "shocked" him and he could only put it down to the hot day: "He will be hard to beat on Tuesday," he said.
The son of Casino Prince will then try to get a place in the $200,000 Grafton Cup over 2350m on July 14 via a good run in the $29,000 Grafton Cup Prelude over 2200m on July 3. Taree is currently a Soft 7.
RACE 1: CASIRINA 1, RODRICK'S SECRET 2, YORIKI 3.
RACE 2: MR COSMIC 1, AIR LIFTED 2, LITTLE KNOWN FACT 3.
RACE 3:WILD AMBER 1, CHAMELEON CHOICE 2, CHIKY CHIKY MAMA 3.
RACE 4: OAKFIELD WARATAH 1, THREETIMESLUCKY 2,STAR OF YAMBA 3.
RACE 5: MADIBA ROSE 1, MR EIGHTY EIGHT 2, AL BE PURPLE 3.
RACE 6: MY GIRONA 1, STERNY BEAR 2, MR TABASCO 3.
RACE 7: ADAMDEEANT 1, STARIKS 2, GOLDEN FANTASY 3.
RACE 8: KARAOKE KING 1, EDITORS 2, ALL THE SHOPS 3.
RACE 9: BAY OF KOTOR 1, L'ESPERANCE ROCK 2, BEL SUONO 3.