It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.BOB NICOL December 10, 2013 5:00pm
Jetconi won the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate with Michael Toll (president), Jye McNeil (jockey), Santo Varapodio, Jeanette Powell (Member for Shepparton), Gerald Egan (trainer) and Joe Vraca pictured at the presentation.
Jetconi, a nine-year-old gelding, hung on for a narrow win under McNeil’s vigorous riding to score from the fast-finishing Royal Mephisto.
McNeil said it was a big thrill to win the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate, the 26th running of the event, while Egan was full of praise for the young rider and the horse.
‘‘He (Jetconi) doesn’t know he is nine years old. He is an old marvel,’’ Egan said.
McNeil’s other win came earlier in the day, when he scored on the Paul Bartlett-trained Jillamatong in the Victoria Hotel Tatura Maiden Plate (1400 m).
Sunday’s warm day ensured a big crowd that pleased club chief executive Desiree Pettit and president Michael Toll.
Mr Toll told the Guardian he was happy with the day’s turnout.
‘‘It’s a big crowd,’’ he said.
‘‘On behalf of the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club committee, I welcome all at today’s Italian Plate Day, particularly those that pre-booked their day out at the races.’’
Mr Toll thanked the club’s sponsors, Ms Pettit, course manager Chris and the committee for giving their time to present the track and facilities in such great order.
The fashions on the field again attracted big entries.
The seven-race card, which kicked off at 1.45 pm, had punters getting the best of the bookies in most races.
Other winners on the day were:
D. & M. Stockfeeds Maiden Plate 1980 m — Super Hunter, David Hayes, Kayla Nisbet.
Support the Desiree Gill Fund Maiden Plate 1000 m — Sorority Queen, Rod Symons, Mark Pegus.
Albert Scrimizzi Memorial Handicap 1000 m — Kuaima, Mark Riley, Dean Holland.
Deutz Tractors at Bee Jay Machinery Handicap 1600 m — Sophie’s Tryst, Geoff Brundson, Brooke Sweeny.
Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation Handicap 1400 m — Idol Factor, Danny O’Brien, Dean Holland.
The club’s next meeting will be the Tatura Cup on April 19.
Water has been returned to Kinnairds and Black wetlands to help with their revitalisation after bushfire damaged them in February.
More than 2200 people have signed up to show their support for a campaign to have the green route chosen for the new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
Matches were split up over Good Friday and Easter Saturday throughout the region.
Painter Ben Winspear and Scott Wileman will create new works as the public look on during the at Rochester Art Exhibition.
Kyabram Bombers have the chance to beat Rochester under light for the first time this Friday evening.
Lions star recruit had a tough introduction to the GVFL.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
Eighty residents at a forum determined the Heathcote Community Plan was on track but need some fine tuning.
Cobram skate park hosts skateboarding and music for youth week.
Senior state minister Adrian Piccoli reaquainted himself with Deniliquin yesterday, leaving Deniliquin Counil hopeful it has an ally in him.
With his blue eyes and snow-coloured coat, Nanneella horse Sinatra has looks worthy of a fairytale.
Fourteen-year-old Benalla girl Jaimee Linke will launch her debut novel next month.
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