Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Long Trip Ends in Disappointment

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Long Trip Ends in Disappointment

Article excerpt

Byline: MATT BLOMBERG matt.blomberg@northernstar.com.au

ROOKIE trainer Luke Pepper has had a roller-coaster ride of emotions after travelling more than 14 hours from Moruya with his horse Cheersforhollywood for a crack at the $11,000 Ballina Bracelet and a $50,000 Brisbane Bloodstock Bonus.

But it's all ended in disappointment.

Pepper headed to the Northern Rivers full of expectation but the Bracelet meeting last Friday was washed out after the first two races.

Hope emerged when the Bracelet was rescheduled for the Tweed River Jockey Club meeting at Murwillumbah today, but that too has been dashed by the rain this week.

The meeting was abandoned yesterday due to the state of the track.

Pepper, 29, has had a trainer's licence for only 12 months a but he has seen and done plenty in his time.

In a previous job, Pepper was trackwork rider of globetrotting superstar Takeover Target.

Having spent more time than anyone on the back of Australia's greatest sprinter, he knows a thing or two about a good horse.

His two-year-old Cheersforhollywood is no superstar but Pepper believes he would have given the 1200m Bracelet a good shake.

Stationed at Steven O'Dea's Brisbane stable, Pepper has his galloper in tip-top condition.

"Hollywood is fit, well, sound and ready to rock," Pepper said.

"His work has been fantastic. It was hard to line up the form as horses come from everywhere for this race but my boy would have given it a good shake with half a chance."

Horses did indeed come from everywhere for the Bracelet a but none travelled anywhere near the 14 hours Pepper and his galloper did from the NSW South Coast.

They had travelled with good reason a and intent.

On top of the $11,000 race kitty," Brisbane Bloodstock bonus of $50,000 would have been up for grabs for eligible horses. …

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