By Tony Megahey
For prolific Riverina trainer, and regional Cups specialist Trevor Sutherland, the traditional Narrandera TAB Cup meeting on Saturday holds special significance and fond memories.
“Sure does, my wife Stephanie and her family are from Narrandera, we met through racing and her equestrian career, I’ve won the Cup twice, the first around 20 years ago,” enthuses the Wagga Wagga based Sutherland with “Steph” as stable foreman.
“We love the meeting, make sure we support with a truck load of horses every year, beautiful people and community, and hard working race club.” adds Sutherland. He has six runners throughout the six race Country TAB programme and performed stable favourite Benno’s Boy is the dominant elect in the Leeton Toyota sponsored $12,000, 1400m Narrandera Cup.
Six-year-old Benno’s Boy, the veteran of 77 starts for 11 wins and 20 placings, is at the peak of his form, and according to Trevor is well treated with 58kg for top regional rider Bryan Murphy.
“He’s only a little fella but with a real big motor, he’s just so tough and versatile as his record shows.
“He’s been carrying up to 62 and 63 kilos, so he’s weighted to win with 58kg. “Last start he got beat a head by his stable-mate Hangin’ With Willy, it’s flying with successive wins and he gave it 4.5 kilos.
“And you know I stewed over a big decision with the old fella. “Whether to take on Winx at Randwick, or go to Narrandera- but where my wife wanted to race was the difference,” Sutherland quipped. “But it’s a just a wonderful race day anywhere when Winx races, they’ll be packed around the track screens at Narrandera, just like they will be all over Australia.”
Sutherland and in form ACT trainer Luke Pepper have strong contenders throughout the day. “Aside from Benno’s Boy, Pay the Ones in the last is my next best,” Trevor adds. It’ll be opposed by Pepper’s last start Forbes maiden winner Delle Donne, while Luke’s Divine Stryker is the horse to beat in a Yarran Wines early maiden.