By Tony Megahey
Multiple Central Districts premiership trainer Brett Thompson is churning out the kilometres with value runners entered at Canterbury Park on Friday night and also at the Gilgandra TAB meeting on Saturday.
The Gulgong-based former shearer and farmer, Thompson, like the multitudes of regional trainers, is into intense campaigning for their season highlight, the Country Championships, leading into the massive $500,000 Country Championships Final to be run at Royal Randwick on April 7.Great Choice ($71 on TAB fixed odds), an eight-year-old Redoute’s Choice late bloomer, has won five races from just 14 starts for Thompson and carries 58.5kg for Kathy O’Hara on Friday night in the $40,000 E-Group Security (1250m) against strong contenders from the Hawkes, Lees, Baker and Pride stables.
Brett’s stablemates Chatteriz and Killer Miller contest the historic Tooraweenah Cup at Gilgandra on Saturday afternoon with the former to start favourite for Jake Pracey-Holmes.
“We’ve set Great Choice for the Country Championships.
"He's been a great old horse for us; he’s fitter for two runs back from a spell in strong company at Randwick although this isn’t much easier. But he was placed at Canterbury in an earlier prep and can be competitive,” Thompson offered.
“Chatteriz is our best in that Cup on Saturday, but Killer Miller will need more racing as he’s had a long time off. Chatteriz is a progressive gelding, coming off a couple of nice wins at Warren and Gilgandra and a natural speed type for the ‘1000’ with a good draw. He’ll run us a race again.”
Profile trainer Allan Denham and champion regional jockey Greg Ryan is the combination to follow, and the pair's set to continue a long and profitable association at country tracks.
In the second race, Haveago Charlie will be a pronounced favourite on the strength of a last start Grafton win while Cunningar Lass will be popular elect in easier company in the third event, following recent Wyong and Cessnock maiden placings.
Meanwhile, the tiny rural Tooraweenah, 44km north-east of Gilgandra, is remembered annually for the historic 1916 Kookaburra March where 23 locals marched to Bathurst to enlist for the First World War.