By Mark Brassel
The pinnacle of NSW country racing – the $1.3 million The Kosciuszko – has rapidly moved onto the radar of trainers right around the state.
And one trainer, Steve Fell from Taree, believes he has a prime candidate with the only horse in his stable, Alot Like Home.
“I honestly think he’s up to winning the race,” Fell declared. “I want to get the word out that he’s good enough to win The Kosciuszko.”
Alot Like Home stamped himself the perfect type for The Kosciuszko with a last start victory in the Daniel Baker Sprint (1200m) during the Coffs Harbour Cup Carnival.
And the form around the race is top shelf with runner-up Florelle a Moonee Valley winner, third placegetter Under the Thumb placed three times in Sydney, fourth horse Lucky Meteor a winner of 13 races and fifth horse Mishani Sleuth boasting three Doomben wins.
The five-year-old now has the record of five wins and six placings from 13 starts.
“He’s the only horse I have and bred him from my stallion Home on the Grange who has now retired from stud duties.
"I stood the Home on the Grange for 10 to 12 years; he’s been a great bread and butter stallion. And Alot Like Home is the spitting image of his Dad, hence the name.”
Fell said Alot Like Home has had a throat operation but is now in great health: “He’s definitely over his problems and is just going to get better.”
Alot Like Home has already had three trips to the city for some creditable performances, the latest when a close second to Reach for Heaven at Rosehill Gardens in February. Previously, he had run seventh to Suncraze at Royal Randwick but the run was good as he was still leading the field with 200m to travel.
“He’s a horse that only does what he has to, and it’s the same in trackwork. He’s got to be revved up to do any hard work, but when the rider asks him for more, he gives it.
“One of his best wins was at Scone a couple of days after Christmas last year; he was under the pump but once Greg Ryan got stuck into him, he really stretched to the line to win.”
Fell’s Mum, Adele Glasson, is a part-owner of Alot Like Home: “Mum had a share in Danesiri who won the Guy Walter (Group 3) at Warwick Farm. She had money left so I told her to go into this one and she’s over the moon.”
Fell said Alot Like Home will next run in the Ivan Livermore Cup (1400m) at Taree next Friday: “He may then have a run in town before hopefully contesting The Kosciuszko.”
The Kosciuszko concept works like a ‘baby Everest’, in that slot-holders for the $13m The Everest negotiate with owners to lock in a runner and race for the massive prizemoney.
But The Kosciuszko costs just $5 to be involved via a ticket from Pub TABs, Clubs, racetracks, TAB outlets and TAB online accounts, whereas a slot in The Everest is $600,000.
Through the joint promotion between Racing NSW, Australian Hotels Association and Tabcorp, members of the public can now buy tickets with the draw held on September 14, when 12 lucky winners will be announced.
Each winning ticket holder will then have an entry in The Kosciuszko and can select a NSW country-trained horse to race for their entry, subject to agreeing with the horse’s owners as to how they’ll share the prizemoney.
The inaugural The Kosciuszko will be run at Royal Randwick on Saturday 13 October. For more information visit - The Kosciuszko