By Tony Megahey
Rising Central District’s trainer Clint Lundholm has two strong contenders at Monday’s Wellington TAB meeting, but is keeping his options open with exciting Royal Randwick TAB Highway winner Larlabrook.
Larlabrook, rated one of the region’s finest prospects, is resuming from a short break after a Randwick failure and with Greg Ryan to ride, has accepted for both Wellington on Monday and Newcastle on Sunday.
“We’re keeping our options open, mainly depending on the weather, but we’ve learned some important things about this gelding and wherever he races, you can forget his last Randwick run altogether,” Clint said.
After leading to win at headquarters in September, Larlabrook, well fancied again, finished rearward at the track on October 21, and was given a let-up.
“He pulled up lame with a hoof abscess, and he also over-raced and choked down. We just should have let him slide where he’s comfortable and won those three races. We won’t be trying to restrain him again.
“That theory is shot pieces I know that. He’s a natural speed horse. Anyway we’ve got 59 kilos at Newcastle in a benchmark 71, compared to 61.5kg’s and barrier 13 at Wellington. But Greg will ride him either way, and like I say he’s back to where he was, and we’re happy with him.
“He’s getting the big weights now though. He’s only had five starts but three wins and he’s open company in the bush already so he’s not easy to place. Another city Highway and a claim might be the best option, but we’ll assess again after this next race.”
Lundholm and Ryan combine with favourite Sprezzatura in a Wellington Soldier’s Maiden (1100m).
“He’s above average, consistent and real hard to beat from the good alley and Greg; we just got nutted last start resuming, so he’ll be fitter. I like him without knowing a lot about the opposition.” The gelding ran a close fourth at Canterbury early in his career.
Hungerford Wonder contests a Ray Boden Painting BM 53 (1600m): “He's a good old campaigner, solid second again at Dubbo, but will need luck from the wide draw.”
At present Wellington’s track rating is a soft 5.