NEWCASTLE trainer Paul Perry hopes the fickle Melbourne weather might bring rain to Moonee Valley tomorrow.
Perry's two runners at the Cox Plate meeting have drawn horror alleys.
His smart sprinter I Get Around has gate six in a field of nine, and Hidden Warrior is worse off with the outside draw of nine in his race.
"There is a hint there might be a bit of rain about which can help us," Perry said yesterday.
"If it gets wet at the Valley out wide might be the place to be.
"There is a meeting there tomorrow night [tonight] and that might chop up the inside as well.
"It is unfortunate both have come up with wide draws as they are going well."
I Get Around is in the $100,000 City Jeep Handicap over 1000 metres.
"There are some smart sprinters in the field but that is what he will be taking on down there," Perry said.
"He did go through his grades well up here and will be going forward from gate six."
Hidden Warrior is in the $150,000 group 3 Telstra PhoneWords Stakes over 1200m.
"This is the toughest race he has ever been in, and of course it would have been better to draw closer to the rails," Perry said.
■ Wyong trainer Stephen Farley believes the "million-dollar question" of how tomorrow's Cox Plate (2040m) will be run will be answered at the start of the race.
"The pace of the race depends on whether Glass Harmonium steps away," Farley said.
"He is very iffy at the start, but if he gets away cleanly he might set up a good pace.
"If that happens, the field might string out and we could slot in midfield. If that happens then we will get our chance."
Sincero has drawn gate 12 in a field of 14.
"If we had the chance we would have drawn closer, but that was not to be as we were the third last drawn out," Farley said.
"What I can say is the horse is ready and it is just a matter of getting through to the big day.
"This morning [Thursday] he just had a trot and a canter."
Farley may back up Sincero in the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) the following Saturday at Flemington.
"That is an option," he said. "We have also put in an entry for Hong Kong but that can wait until next year."
■ Racing NSW chief Peter V'landys will be in Newcastle on November 12 to attend an information meeting for members and industry stakeholders.
Richard Davis, who chaired a meeting of members objecting to Racing NSW's request for changes to the constitution to allow the Newcastle Jockey Club (NJC) board to be reduced from 10 to seven with three appointees, believes the meeting should have been of "more importance".
"I advised the chairman of the NJC, Geoff Barnett, of my dissatisfaction as to no general meeting," Davis said.
"In my view the members are being short-changed. The members are deserving of the requested meeting.
"Why did the board not sanction a general meeting and arrange a separate meeting for industry stakeholders?
"Given that the members have been, in a sense, disregarded, a boycott of this meeting by members would be in order.
"In correspondence, the chairman said a general meeting would be unconstitutional, but we disagree with this."
But Newcastle trainers are right behind the changes, which will ensure the club receives more than $11 million in funding.
Late last week Barnett and NJC chief executive Cameron Williams met a delegation of trainers to discuss the progress in plans for the two new tracks that will be delivered with the money from Racing NSW.
At the meeting were Newcastle and Districts Trainers Association chairman Peter Eggleston, Kris Lees, Alan Scorse and Darren Smith.
"The trainers that were at the meeting were united in their approval for the changes if that means we get two new racetracks," Lees said.
"The days of a 10-man board are antiquated, and if a new seven-person board means some of the directors lose their positions, so be it.
"The major works are not just good for Broadmeadow trainers but the entire town. They will bring a lot of work and money into Newcastle.
"That has to be a huge win for everyone, not just those in racing here in Newcastle."
Smith agreed the trainers were right behind the new funding model.
"Some of the members see it as the club losing self-governance, but really all this is is a move to a better future for the club," he said.
"It is no good living in the past as we need things done at Broadmeadow and this is the way to achieve it."
■ Globetrotting Scone mare Ortensia comes out of quarantine tomorrow.
Ortensia arrived safely back in Australia after winning group 1 races in Dubai and England.
"She will have two weeks on grass before returning to the stable," trainer Paul Messara said. "If she shows she is still keen to race then I will look to the Lightning Stakes at Flemington early next year as a goal for her."
■ The Gosford Club has returned a profit of $400,000 for the past financial year.
"This is our best result in 20 years," club chief James Heddo said.
"We had the great result by minimising costs at our unprofitable weekday meetings and maximising our summer carnival, which was a great success.
"We had our annual general meeting on Monday night and the members seemed satisfied that we are heading in the right direction."
■ Newcastle jockey Craig Dwyer had good reason for not being able to remember the last time he scored a double after two successes at Scone on Tuesday.
Dwyer scored on In Cahoots in a 900m sprint.
Trained by the astute Phil Atkins, In Cahoots was impressive in bolting away for an easy win on debut.
Dwyer then won on Mr Pedantic in a 1400m benchmark 60.
"I wouldn't have a clue when I last had a double because it would be at least 15 years ago," he said.
"It would have been back when I was an apprentice but when and where, really I can't remember.
"I gave the game away for a long while, and I came back part-time then I retired again when I rode a winner in February 2010.
"That day I came straight from work at Kooragang Island and because I was running late I didn't have time to change.
"I was still in my work gear when I got to the course.
"I got a big kick out of that win, because it was for dad Mick.
"I thought it was the perfect time to give it away but three months ago I started riding trackwork again and I got keen to give race riding another go."