With beautiful weather and a very strong race card, the large crowd at Kempsey on Satruday were treated to a great days racing where the time honoured Akubra Cup Heats and the Macleay Hotel Trophy Heats were the star attraction.
First up and in a very strong maiden race, Sad Song all the way from Sawyers Gully for Rikky Moncrieff held off the fast finishing Mulwee Ranger with Awesome Mama 3rd in a fast 20.52.
Race 2 and the reserve Harry's Power for Maureen Campbell and Greg Carragher who came home like a train to pip Skatty Like Mum and Easy Yards a good run for 3rd.
Race 3 Heat 1 of the NSW GBOTA for 3rd and 4th grades and So Slow for Craig Francis gave a strong front running display to beat Steviebaz by 3 ½ lengths and Big Sam Brosky a further 4 behind in an flying 20.20.
Race 4 the Lindsey Reberger Memorial over the 635m and it was Little Egyptian for Dawn Garrett who led from box rise to score impressively in 38.10 from a gallant Petite Verona and Settle Petal coming in 3rd.
Race 5 was Heat 1 of the Akubra Cup and Glen McLean from Nabiac brought up the first leg of his treble when Raw Prawn got the fly on the first corner and held off a fast finishing Keg Leg Keegan and Laurel Tears filling the other minor placing in 30.21.
Race 6 was Heat 1 of the Macleay Hotel Trophy and Go Go Tashy for Kerry Barrass gave the field a galloping lesson running away to score by 2 ¾ lengths in 30.28 from Sawtell Sam and Bush Bandit.
Race 7 and the 8 heat winners from last weeks qualies contested a very even 5th grade GBOTA Final and the very handy What Not for David Smith sprouted wings over the last 50m to beat Big Sky Ruler on the line and the jackpot dog Foxtrot Lad for 3rd in a quick 20.41.
Race 8 Heat 2 of the Akubra Cup and Glen McLean's Tuncurry Tiger justified his very heavy support in the ring when he just held on to beat an unlucky Antivirus and Bub's Way a further ¾ length behind in 30.53.
Race 9 Heat 2 of the Macleay Hotel Trophy and another well supported dog got the cash when Forgotten Hero for Maureen West led throughout beating Zacavier by 1 ¾ lengths and Thrupence a further 6 behind in 30.14.
Race 10 Heat 3 of the Akubra Cup and former local Nathan Goodwin and Murranji Mary all the way from Mackay improved on last weeks 2nd placing to beat the heavily supported New South Baz in a nippy 30.09 and Into The Black who showed a welcome return to form 3rd.
Race 11 Heat 2 of the NSW GBOTA and that man again Glen McLean this time with Beau Baz who once hitting the ground blew the rest of the field away in a very slick 20.35 with Pride Ability running a gallant 2nd and Princess Nimble holding on for 3rd.
So all up a fantastic race meeting with plenty of favourites getting up and the good dogs showing their class.
It's all on again next Saturday with the main event the final of the Akubra Cup but with a very strong support card.