By Mark Brassel
Jockey Nick Souquet will be striving to enter his name into the record books when he partners Banger in the $25,000 Sports Bar Plus Lamont 2YO Classic at Wagga on Monday.
With the Lamont 2YO Classic having only been run on just two occasions, Souquet will be chasing back-to-back wins in the race after scoring on the odds-on favourite last year, Up Trumpz for trainer Joe Cleary.
Souquet’s mount Banger ($4.60 on TAB fixed odds) improved sharply at his second start when a fast-finishing second to Cardinet at Wodonga (1200m) and has solid claims.
The inaugural Classic was won by Vee Eight when ridden by Melinda Kinny for Goulburn trainer Danny Williams.
Ironically, on that occasion, Vee Eight ($9) knocked out favourite punters when he defeated the raging $1.20 favourite, Couldnotbuybetter, by a long head.
“The Lamont name has been synonymous with racing in the Riverina for decades so it’s fitting to have a feature race in the family’s honour,” explained Murrumbidgee Turf Club’s CEO, Scott Sanbrook.
"This race honours the Lamont family from Kooringal Stud, just north of Wagga.
“Stuart Lamont has been on the board of Murrumbidgee Turf Club for close to three decades, spending the last 12 years as president. He is also president of the Southern District Racing Association.
“His late father Colin was the MTC’s chairman through the 1970s and 80s, and Stuart’s son Angus followed the family tradition and has been serving on the MTC board in recent years.”
MTC will also run a heat of its successful Stayers Series – the $20,000 Weston & Weston Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Stayer Series Heat over 1800m.
An interesting runner on the seven-race card is Dane Slugger who will be chasing his fourth straight success in the Crust Pizza Benchmark 55 Handicap (1000m).
Dane Slugger won races at Hillston (1000m) and Leeton (1050m) before winning a 1000m race – on protest – at Wagga last Saturday (26 May).
The five-year-old’s performances have been a credit to trainer Gino D’Altorio who has only had the gelding for three starts, with Dane Slugger winless in 25 starts when racing around the Cairns, Mackay and Rockhampton areas.
The Club has free entry to Wagga tomorrow as well as free access to the Members Lounge.
Meanwhile, Mallawa picnics will be staged next Saturday and acts as the second leg of Bush Racing’s Golden Triangle.
There’ll be a stack of attractions including a picnic lunch from midday, an on-course Calcutta and live entertainment after the last race until 10pm. The Club will also have buses operating from Moree’s Royal Hotel.