Racing returned to town in style on Saturday as Narrabri Jockey Club held a meeting at the Narrabri Racecourse for the first time since 2022.

Last year’s race day was cancelled amid flood damage to both the access road and the track as well as massive storm damage to facilities, however, a new-look committee planned and pulled off a fantastic six-race program to mark a triumphant comeback.

The racing action was fast and fierce as no more than two lengths separated the winners and the runners-up on the day.

A new Cup champion was crowned as rookie Taree jockey Shae Wilkes rode Crowie’s Shout to victory for Port Macquarie trainer Marc Quinn. The 1200-metre Qube Agri Narrabri Cup feature race was a memorable one for the 24-year-old jockey who debuted earlier this month with a victorious ride on board Cool Duke at Tuncurry-Forster Jockey Club.

Wilkes’ Narrabri win was the first cup victory in her short career and the win was her second of what she hopes will be many.

For the four-year-old bay gelding, the victory was his fifth in 19 starts and it was his fifth podium finish in six starts this year.

Crowies Shout charged home two lengths ahead of second-placed Sir Donald, who was ridden by Matthew McGillivray for the Tamworth-based trainer Michelle Fleming, and in third place was Grenado, who was ridden by Jacob Golden for the Moree-based trainer Douglas Fernando.

The Narrabri Cup was the fifth race of the program, and it followed four entertaining races beforehand.

A fellow 24-year-old jockey in Cobi Vitler took out the first two races for Scone trainer Nikki Pollock.

Vitler, who was born and raised in Herstmonceux, a village just two hours south east of London, and then moved to Australia six years ago, rode Harmonica Miss to a one-and-a-half length victory over the Leon Cross-trained, Golden-ridden Golden River Gift in the 1000-metre JA Smith Solutions maiden plate in race one and he then rode Under Le Temps to a one-and-a-quarter-length victory over the Pollock-trained, Billy Cray-ridden He Is The Kiss in the 1200-metre Nutrien Ag Solutions class one handicap in race two.

The third race was the 1500-metre Australian Food and Fibre class one handicap event, and it was won by the Sienna Grima-ridden Hallowed Son for Tamworth trainer Wayne Brown. Hallowed Son earned a one-length victory over the Wendy Peel-ridden, Wayne Martin-trained Intense.

The fourth race on the program was the 1500-metre Hutcheon and Pearce Wee Waa Cup. Grima made it a double in that benchmark 58 handicap as she rode Miss Nicolini to a narrow one-and-a-half-length victory for the Tamworth-based trainer Craig Martin.

Placing second in the Wee Waa Cup was the Gavin Groth-trained Norman, which had Vitler on board as he just missed out on a third victory, and in third place, less than two lengths back, was the Wilkes-ridden, Carlos Antonio-trained Damascus Gate.

The sixth and final race of the day saw Vitler successfully claim a third win as he rode Caoimhe to first place in the 1930-metre Max Orman Toyota benchmark 50 handicap for Gunnedah trainer Sally Torrens.

In what was the closest finish of the day, Vitler and Caoimhe edged out the Georgina McDonnell-ridden, Kelly Smith-trained Zoucan Toucan by just half a length.

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