By Duane Ranger
Don’t be surprised if Stephen Cini’s good run of form continues at Albion Park tomorrow (Saturday) night.
The 52-year-old Alberton horseman won two races at ‘The Creek’ last Saturday with Clarry and Macey Jayde in the second and sixth events. Narissa McMullen drove the former, while her cousin Nathan Dawson won behind the latter.
Tomorrow McMullen will drive them both, as well as Cini’s only other runner at the meeting – Getarattleon in race six.
“They are all honest pacers who have drawn well and should be thereabouts. I have the driver and the draws to go close again,” Cini said.
Clarry, Macey Jayde, and Getarattleon, have drawn three, one, and three respectively and should all be either leading or the near pace.
The TAB also likes their chances opening them up at a $4 second favourite (Clarry), $4.50 second favourite (Macey Jayde), and a $6 fourth favourite (Getarattleon).
Cini has a great eye for talent.
“I like to get new horses into the barn regularly. It’s a good way to keep the winners churning over. I've had Clarry since March. I got him off Blake Fitzpatrick and actually own him. I've only started Macey Jayde six times since she came here from Michael Stanley in July.
"Getarattleon is also new to our stable. He's only had five starts for us for two wins, two seconds, and a third. Mark Jones and Aaron Goadsby left him here in August,” said Cini, who works a team of 14.
“I’ve also got other new ones like The Doorman from New Zealand and his younger half-brother, The Cruise Missile. They have only had seven and three races respectively for me and have won four times and twice.”
Cini said he had been involved in harness racing since he left his Blacktown Catholic School in the mid 1980s.
“My father (Lou) had horses. In fact, he was the first trainer to have two horses line up in a Miracle Mile in 1985. Paleface Bubble ran second to Preux Chevalier, while Karamea Duplicity ran fourth. There were only six in the race that year.
“I’ve never driven in a race. I only train them. My older brother Charlie was encouraged to drive by Dad when we were young,” Cini said.
He said he had no time for horses that didn’t want to try.
“Unless they are honest, they aren’t worth my time. I work my horses at home on our 750m track, which has long straights, but tight corners. I’m just happy so long as the team is earning money,” he said.
Cini has trained more than 1,500 career winners, and already bagged 11 victories from 51 starters this season. He's also placed 20 times and banked $76,327 in stakes.
Last season Cini trained 14 winners at Albion Park, and banked $164,058. He's already had two winners at 'The Creek' in 2019-2020, and will be looking to better that tomorrow night.
Here's what he had to say about his three pacers (with draw, driver, and opening odds):
Race 2: The Stephen Cini trained and Narissa McMullen driven CLARRY (3) $4 - “He’s up in grade this week and it won’t be easy against an open-class pacer like Mattgregor ($11) and Grant Dixon's, Cruzy Dude ($2.10 favourite). He led and won from gate four last week. If he's on the pace he can go close again. The thing I like about him is his honesty. He always tries and gives his best.”
Race 3: The Stephen Cini trained and Narissa McMullen driven MACEY JAYDE (1) $4.50 - “She went good last week. She drew two and trailed behind Just Seduce Me, who was ironically driven by Narissa. 'Macey' then got the passing lane run and sprinted well to win. She had a few tricks early, but they have been ironed out, and she’s getting better with each race. If she can hold the front, she can go very close, because she has a nice sprint in her. I think she is my best winning chance on Saturday.”
Race 6: The Stephen Cini trained and Narissa McMullen driven GETARATTLETON (3) $6 - "He won a race in New Zealand before coming over here in May last year, and then he raced down south for Mark Jones and Aaron Goadsby. I can't fault his form-line in the five starts he has had for us. I’m on top of him now, and like Clarry he always gives his best effort every start. Another good, honest pacer. Each way.”