Moskeeta (number 8), holds on to win Race 9, the Ulmarra Hotel “Chip-In” Cup Benchmark 66 Handicap over 1205m at Grafton on June 8. Image: Emma Pritchard

Mare records buzzing win in Ulmarra Cup

Emma Pritchard

The early winter chill which lingered in the air didn’t deter racegoers from heading trackside over the weekend when the Clarence River Jockey Club (CRJC) hosted its final race meeting ahead of the highly anticipated 2024 July Racing Carnival on June 8.

With the track rated a Soft 7, later downgraded to a Soft 6, and the rail out 6.5m throughout the entire circuit following recent rainfall, more than 100 thoroughbreds accepted across a huge 10-race program.

While the locally trained first starter Wotsit broke the hearts of punters and won admiration from bookmakers after saluting at odds of 60/1 in Race 1, the Clarence Valley Tyres Maiden Handicap over 1030m, the feature event of the day, Race 9, the Ulmarra Hotel “Chip-In” Cup Benchmark 66 Handicap over 1205m provided backers with a much more favourable result.

Starting at 6/1 off the back of a last start placing in Grafton on May 16, five-year-old mare Moskeeta attracted plenty of interest in the market and brought proven wet track form into the race.

Jumping swiftly from barrier 11, the daughter of Your Song was taken straight to the front of the 12-horse field inside the opening furlong by apprentice jockey Millie Thompson before 9/1 shot Galbalan was allowed to take control of the race courtesy of a rail-hugging ride by another apprentice hoop Jack Baker.

But inside the final 300m Thompson gave Moskeeta her head, allowing the mare to surge past Galbalan and dart away from the rest of the field.

Despite a late charge from Boambee Beach, Moskeeta held on to win by a long neck on the line.

Monte Outlander put its nose down where it counted to steal third place from a tiring Galbalan.

Trained in Coffs Harbour by Cathleen Rode, Moskeeta advanced her race record to five wins and two minor placings from 16 starts with career earnings topping $100000.

Describing Moskeeta as a mare she really loves, Thompson said she was very proud of her effort to hold on following the race.

While there was plenty of action on the track, many racegoers also ventured into the CRJC members car park to view the line-up of heavy vehicles on display at the 2024 Grafton Truck Show and Shine which featured a number of local trucking companies including Cromack Transport, Blanchard Haulage, and Bloomer Transport.

The CRJC will host their next race meeting, which will officially open the 2024 July Racing Carnival, on July 7.