Newcastle gelding Quick Tempo ($1.90) romped to its fourth win at its fourth start, a meeting where apprentice jockeys shone, at Manning Valley Race Club's Bushland Drive track at Taree on Monday.
The three-year-old Rubick galloper gave trainer Mark Minervini a birthday present with apprentice jockey Jackson Searle not over-taxing the sprint machine in winning by just over a length in the Sky Racing World Benchmark 66 Handicap over 1000m on the heavy track.
"He might be a serious horse...he has only had two gallops in six weeks (when scored at Taree at its previous start)," Minervini said.
"He is running around like a drunken sailor.. he is so full of himself.
"I just sold a share in him to some good clients but he is better than country horses and deserves next to take on city class," he said.
Searle, having his second win on the gelding, said he just "kidded to him" as long as he could before making the win with the gelding's "raw talent".
Scone gelding Into The Fire ($5), a last start winner for trainer Cameron Crockett and ridden by Bailey Wheeler, finished second in front of resuming Rumpshaker ($11), trained at Gosford by Nick Mitchell and ridden by Chris O'Brien.
Taree trainer Bob Milligan no sooner had the news from the Mid North Coast Racing Association that his mare Charmmebaby was named "Horse Of The Year" for the 2020/21 season that he was back in the winner's stall with resuming five-year-old mare Stormy Pluck ($19), ridden by Louise Day, for a resuming win in the XXXX Gold F&M Benchmark 58 Handicap over 1250m.
Milligan's son,Glen, said his father was out of hospital and had done a lot of work with her to be ready first-up.
She has problems at the barrier but Glen said: "It is lucky she loaded at the end."
Apprentice jockeys won four of the seven races, the first to win being Taree's in-form hoop Georgina McDonnell who posted a quarter of a length win on four-year-old Dundeel gelding Into The Blue ($4.80), trained at Wauchope by Michael O'Neill, in the Horsepower CG&E Maiden Handicap over 1300m.
The trainer only has two gallopers in work and the win gave him two wins so far this season, the other, Wolfram, winning recently at Wauchope.
Into The Blue showed speed last start when wanted to go slower for a strong finish and wore a tongue-tie this time.
"He is learning all the time and got lost in front last start...he needs something to follow," O'Neill said.
McDonnell told him that the gelding will get further when matured: "I might give him a little let-up."
Apprentice Bailey Wheeler grabbed his fourth win on "surprise" packet, Taree colt King Kikau ($91, paid $103 win and $14.90 place on TAB), trained by Joel and Wayne Wilkes, in the Kennards Hire Taree Maiden Plate over 1600m.
Joel said: "I wasn't expecting it to win...but we will take it.
"The only worry was the wet but he had to run today to get some miles into his legs."
Wheeler said King Kikau was a big loping fellow: "Still raw...doesn't know what he is doing."
Apprentice jockey Benjamin Osmond celebrated his first TAB win on 11-year-old Kempsey gelding Wewonya ($11), trained by Hilary Dew, in the Hydrahose Summer Cup 19 December CG&E Benchmark 58 Handicap over 1250m.
"The win is a credit to Benjamin as he followed instructions," Dew said.
"I got the horse when it had two wins and it has nine wins now," he said.
Taree trainer Ross Stitt unearthed a nice filly in Persian Beauty ($3.50), by Shooting To Win, it scoring easily by 3.37 lengths for Rachael Murray in the Mid Coast Auto Group F&M Maiden Handicap over 1300m.
Stable foreman Gary Coleman said Stitt bought the galloper as a yearling and she had been unlucky in many starts.
Five-year-old gelding Italian Tune ($3.10), trained by Brad Munro and ridden by Raymond Spokes, enjoyed the track conditions to storm to a just over a length win in the Harrington Cup 3 January Benchmark 58 Handicap over 2000m.
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