LEADING Wagga trainer Trevor Sutherland believes Demanding Mo's Albury Guineas win last Friday has ensured he will be able to keep his staff employed over coming months.
Sutherland enjoyed one of the finest moments of his training career when Demanding Mo took out the $80,000 Albury Guineas (1400m). Stablemate La Sante also produced a cracking run to finish third.
Demanding Mo paid a whopping $176 for the win on the NSW TAB, as apprentice jockey Ellen Hennessy enjoyed the biggest win of her career.
Sutherland, who owns Demanding Mo with Pat Reardon, says the win will prove to be more important than most people realise.
"You don't really know how important it is," Sutherland explained.
"I own the majority of the horse and that prizemoney will keep us in jobs over the coming months, otherwise I probably would have had to let them go.
"I've got 10 staff, the boys have all been there for a fair while, and they've all got families as well. We'll probably be able to get through to see the other end of it now.
"The whole day (on Friday) will make a hell of a difference."
Sutherland is keen to follow the path to the Wagga Guineas with both Demanding Mo and La Sante but is not confident racing will last until then, due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
He has decided to back Demanding Mo up at Wagga on Monday, in the Class Two Handicap (1400m).
"The plan was always follow the Guineas around, both to go together there," he said.
"I end up putting Mo in on Monday, there is a nice race for him there and if we can pick up another $20,000 there it will be huge, for exactly the same reasons.
"Both have got a Highway race or two in them as well. That's the plan anyway but what goes on between now and then, I don't know."
ALLAN Hull will make a surprise return to the caller's box at Murrumbidgee Turf Club on Saturday.
Hull will call the picnic meeting at Wagga, which was a recently added meeting to make up for the lost meets at Ardlethan, Tullibigeal and Cootamundra.
With the meeting non-TAB, and therefore no need for Sky to send a caller, Hull offered to return to the job for a one-off occasion.
MTC are still yet to appoint a permanent replacement for Hull, who called his last race at Wagga on January 26.
MTC are still waiting to hear from Sky Racing, who are continuing with a rotating roster for the time being.
Anthony Manton will call Monday's TAB meeting at Wagga.
A unanimous letter has been circulated to nearby residents, encouraging them to oppose the development.
"Imagine how many people have to come and go at all times of the day and night...jockeys start 4.30am, horse floats returning from out of town meetings plus the services to support that," the letter stated.
The letter's author also stated they had concerns about additional traffic in the area, impacts for odour on the nearby Sportsmens Club Hotel and raised levels of dust and flies.
But MTC chief executive Steve Keene hit back this week and is confident the development remains on track.
"It's understandable that people are out there who have questions and our door is open to them," Keene said.
"The planning application that has gone in, we have made sure that everything has been thought of and there are procedures for everything there.
"It will be a boost mainly for Wagga in creating new jobs."
Wagga City Council has extended the notification period for the MTC's application and will accept written submissions in response until 5pm on April 3.
IN-FORM Albury jockey Brodie Loy is set to be sidelined for a couple of weeks with a thumb injury.
Loy sustained the injury when falling from Confidant after the Albury Guineas last Friday.
He continued riding on the day but will miss the next couple of weeks. Loy will still be available for rides in the SDRA after choosing the southern part of the state as his designated area.
ALBURY trainer Mitch Beer will chase the city riches with last-start winner Hanger on Saturday.
The former Kiwi galloper broke through at his second start in Australia with a win in the $100,000 Echuca Cup (1400m) for Beer and Teo Nugent.
Hanger's next assignment is the $125,000 Benchmark 88 Handicap (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Brenton Avdulla has been booked to ride and Beer believes the five-year-old should be 'perfectly suited'.
ONE of the most durable gallopers in the SDRA has been retired.
Trevor Sutherland and connections made the decision to retire Hangin' With Willy earlier this month.
Purchased out of a paddock for just $2000, Hangin' With Willy went on to earn $191,000 for Sutherland and the Boys 'N' Babes syndicate.
The eight-year-old finished with 11 wins and 17 minor placings from 79 starts.
"It's hard to replace horses like him," Sutherland said.
"He's given a great deal of fun to that group of owners over the years."
IT WOULD be remiss not to mention the efforts of Spunlago and Albury trainer Ron Stubbs for their effort in winning the $200,000 Albury Gold Cup (2000m) last Friday.
Stubbs is a master of having a horse primed for a target race and that proved again to be the case as Spunlago ($41) took out the listed feature with Mathew Cahill in the saddle.
Ilovesaki booked his place in the field for the Wagga Gold Cup (2000m) on May 1 with a win in the Albury Mile.
Saturday: Wagga (non-TAB)
Monday: Wagga (TAB)
Friday: Junee (TAB)
Tuesday: Wagga (TAB)
Thursday (April 2): Wagga (TAB)