Day At The Track

Miss Rodriguez has a special tie to Classic

04:59 PM 27 Apr 2016 NZST
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The Red Ochre Mares Classic
The Red Ochre Mares Classic will be run on Friday night in conjunction with the Dubbo Show.

There will be an element of irony if Bathurst pacer Miss Rodriguez can claim this Friday night's Goodtime Lodge Red Ochre Mares Classic.  The $30,000 harness racing event, which once again carries Group 3 status, has drawn together a quality field of pacers through heats at the Dubbo Paceway last Wednesday.

While Bon Accord Gal is arguably the class runner of the field, there will be plenty of people cheering for Miss Rodriguez, among them Red Ochre organiser Brett Wrigley.

"She is a product of the Red Ochre concept because a few years back her owner and trainer Wayne White bought a service through the stallion tender that funds the series and she was the result," Wrigley said.

"He bought the service to Tinted Cloud, got his mare in foal and now he has Miss Rodriguez in the final.

"She's been going really well of late and her driver Jason Turnbull told me they have set her for this race so if it came off and she won the final it would be a great story."

A winner of four races from 20 starts, with nine minor placings thrown in, Miss Rodriguez goes into the final on the back of a third placing behind Bon Accord Gal in the heats.  She galloped early on that occasion but still showed enormous fight to earn a spot in the final, which carries a long and proud history of winners.  With three wins and as many placings from seven starts this season, and a good draw in barrier 1, she should be hard to beat if her manners are in check through the race.

"Normally a C2 or C3 mare wins this race, horses that are on the up, but this year there are a lot of horses rated C5 and up that have made the final so the quality overall is really strong," Wrigley said.

"I think only three of the runners are C2 or C3 but they will get the good barrier draws that will give them their chance."

In a change from recent tradition the Carnival of Cups meeting that carried the Red Ochre as its feature has been switched from the Sunday of the Dubbo Show to the Friday night.  It is hoped that will create a carnival atmosphere and provide a strong backdrop.

"By the time we've started racing on the Sunday the show is wrapping up and people have left," Wrigley said.

"Hopefully by moving to the Friday night there are plenty of people who will go the trots and then the show afterwards, or we get people who are over on Sideshow Alley who stop to watch the races."

by Ben Walker

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