Gary Harley – Wrap – 29.06.24

Perseverance finally paid off for Raymond Terrace trainer Ken Lantry when My Mate Cobber broke through for his first win at Saturdays Newcastle Jockey Club race meeting. The four-year-old was well supported $6.50 second favourite in the Lake Macquarie Carpet Cleaning Maiden Handicap (1200m) with Mitchell Bell in the saddle.

My Mate Cobber went for a spell after an unplaced run at Coffs Harbour in November, and his two starts this preparation were full of merit. He was placed first up in a 900m Newcastle Maiden on May 25 before a narrow defeat at Muswellbrook on June 17. It was a lovely ride by Bell on Saturday as he settled the gelding midfield one off the rail and steered him into a gap at the top of the straight. My Mate Cobber went to the line full of running to win by 1.86 lengths with the promise of more wins to come. The win was no surprise to his trainer who only has one horse in training.

“I was confident the horse would run well as both runs this time in have been good, but there was a bit of hype about the even money favourite Kervette. The horse should have won a couple of races up the coast, and he had been placed in nine of his previous twenty starts. I bought My Mate Cobber on-line as a yearling from South Australia for his current owners Warren Skinner from Coffs Harbour, Roy Davis a Maitland motel owner, close friend and Newcastle hotelier Neville Willott and our daughter Kristy Sinclair. This horse is 100% sound and I have returned from Maitland with my wife, and I rent a couple of stables near Raymond Terrace. Matthew Scorse has been a big help riding the horse in trackwork at Newcastle” Lantry said.

Lantry was a versatile sportsman in his younger days. He was an apprentice jockey in the early 1960’s, riding a winner in his only Sydney ride at Canterbury in 1962. He played over 200 games of first grade rugby league in Newcastle and Scone, and he was undefeated in eight amateur boxing bouts.

The in-form Jean Van Overmeire rode three of the last four winners to take his tally for the season to ninety-two. The first of his treble was aboard the Gai Waterhouse-Adrian Bott trained Kiwi bred Alcabeel in the AHA Newcastle Maiden Plate (1400m). The colt was on debut after several trials, and after racing in second place the $10 chance fought hard to edge out the heavily backed favourite Fakhra.

The James Cummings trained mare Nanshe was an easy winner of the Newcastle Bathrooms Conditional Benchmark 68 Handicap (1400m). Van Overmeire settled the four-year-old midfield and she unleashed late to win by 1.67 lengths. Newcastle trainer Sam Kavanagh prepared “JVO’s” third winner, the talented Metallic Ruler which contested the Only Working Smoke Alarms Saves Lives Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m). The winner has won three from eight, including two from three at Newcastle.

Kris Lees and Andrew Gibbons combined with promising filly Imposant, an easy winner of the Coastal Fire Services Class 1 Handicap (1400m). It was a gun ride from Gibbons allowing the three-year-old to drop back in the field, and when called on in the straight she powered home. Imposant carries the colours of Lees’ three-time Group 1 winner Le Romain.