Narrabri will be represented in the Santos Cup and John Dean Memorial finals this Sunday when the Narrabri Harness Racing Club hosts its annual TAB Carnival of Cups meeting at the Narrabri Showground track.

That was also the venue for the club’s non-TAB meeting on Easter Monday, April 5, which hosted the heats for those finals.

The second of six races on the day was the 1760-metre Tourist Hotel and Luke McGrath Farrier Service Pace which was the first John Dean Memorial heat.

The Garry Shepherdson-trained Killar Insanity started from the front row in that race wearing the number five saddlecloth.

He was driven by local reinsman and part owner Chris Shepherdson and the duo finished fourth after running home 10 metres behind the race’s winner, Hand Writer, which was driven by Blake Hughes for trainer Anthony Missen.

That fourth-placed finish saw five-year-old gelding Killar Insanity qualify for this Sunday’s John Dean Memorial final, in which he will be joined by another Narrabri pacer.

That is the Jarred Hetherington-trained Miss Maravu which was driven to a third-placed finish by Murray Sullivan in the second 1760-metre John Dean Memorial heat on Monday which was the GCJ Glass and Aluminium and Richards Metal Supplies pace in race three.

Four-year-old filly Miss Maravu finished less than five metres back from the Norman Soles-trained, Tom Ison-driven winner Feel The Spirit in that race.

Hetherington’s Trunkey Grace and Limousine Life placed seventh and ninth respectively in the first heat.

The fifth race of the day was the 2160-metre Daisy’s Water Carrier, Gordon Roadway and Johnson Solicitors Pace which was the first Santos Cup heat.

The Garry Shepherdson-trained, Chris Shepherdson-driven Montana Nights placed third in that race after starting behind pole position wearing the seven.

The six-year-old gelding started that race as the $1.60 favourite and finished less than two metres behind the Caitlin McElhinney-trained-and-driven Akuma.

Two more Narrabri pacers were in action in the Santos Cup heats.

The Peter Shepherdson-trained Capital Cullect was driven to eighth by Blake Hughes in race five, then in the sixth and final race of the day, which was the J and H Windscreen, C and D Electronics and Wilga Hotel Pace, the Garry Shepherdson-trained, Chris Shepherdson-driven Future Fun ran home sixth.

In that sixth race, Anthony Missen and Blake Hughes combined for their second win of the day when I’m So Better raced to victory.

Earlier in the day, the first race was won by the Gregory Coney-trained, Madi Young-driven $2.10 favourite Datizit which finished more than 21 metres ahead of its closest rival in the 2160-metre Narrabri Ag and Tapscott Service Station Pace.

Race four, which was the Tyrerite and Watsons Kitchen Pace, was taken out by the Julie Hobday-trained, Brad Elder-driven Talk To Me Baby.

A seventh possible race which was this year’s Wee Waa Cup was abandoned due to lack of nominations.

Narrabri Harness Racing Club president Peter Shepherdson was pleased with Monday’s event and said he was looking forward to the Carnival of Cups meeting on Sunday.

“We had a massive crowd,” Shepherdson said.

“Last time we had an Easter Monday meeting, crowd numbers were up and this year’s crowd was up again on that.

“There were people there who I didn’t even know.

“It was a fantastic day, the weather was perfect and after all the recent rain the grounds looked immaculate.

“There was some real good action on the track with some very close finishes.

“There’ll be an extra two races on the day this Sunday and there’ll be extra prizemoney which will attract a little bit better horses.

“It should be an even better day.”

As well as the Santos Cup and John Dean Memorial finals, Sunday’s meeting will host the annual Narrabri Cup which will be run across 2560 metres, as well as a Club Menangle Country Series heat among other races.

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