By Brenton Le Grand
Fresh off a bumper fortnight with three winners from her past six runners, Kristen Buchanan will travel to all corners of the state this weekend with hopes of continuing her impressive strike rate.
Her six-year-old Danzero gelding Macquarie Magic ($7.50 on TAB fixed odds) kicks off proceedings in the first event at the showcase Dubbo meeting on Friday, coming off a strong finishing fifth in the Wingham Cup at Taree on June 1.
“The smaller field and roomy track should give him every possible hope to find the line impressively,” Buchanan said. “I believe he is a great hope.”
In the second race on the Dubbo card, Buchanan has the promising Grand Exit ($17) engaged.
The three-year-old Excites filly resumes after placing at her only start in a strong race at Wyong late January, but has drawn poorly in gate 11 for hoop Jeff Kehoe.
“I’m mindful that she is first-up without a trial and expect her to settle early and go back from that draw,” Buchanan said.
“Jeff won’t knock her around, and she’ll definitely benefit from the raceday fitness. Whatever she does I expect her to improve on.”
Buchanan has her four-year-old Moshe gelding Mosrai ($6) going around in the fifth event at Dubbo and is more than happy to have Grant Buckley aboard for the fourth consecutive start.
“There is speed to burn in this race, which will suit this tricky little horse nicely,” Buchanan said. “If he can settle in easily behind a strong tempo he can run some very strong finishing sectionals, so look out!”
Her final runner at Dubbo comes up in race six, with Oakfield Rickie ($9) resuming in the Benchmark 65 over 1210m. Again the barrier gods haven’t been kind, with the Mutawaajid gelding drawing gate 13 before scratchings.
“He has won first-up before, but it may be a bit of challenge to get across from out there,” Buchanan said. “Hopefully Grant can weave some of that Bucko magic, and get us some cover in transit.”
Buchanan then heads down the coast to Kembla Grange on Saturday with Laszlo ($18) engaged in race six. The six-year-old Teofilo gelding is second-up following a 3.9 length ninth at Taree on June 1.
“His second-up record is great with three placings from three attempts,” Buchanan said. “He’s taken a lot of benefit from that first-up run at Taree, and I expect him to be thereabouts given he has drawn ideally in gate three.”
On Sunday, Buchanan ventures north with Traumatised ($2.50 favourite) accepted in race six at Port Macquarie. The exciting Choisir gelding has a win and a second from only two starts to date, and jockey Jeff Kehoe gets the ride following a nice victory on him at Taree last time out.
“I actually had Kerrin McEvoy engaged to ride at Taree, but he was delayed getting to the course,” Buchanan said. “Jeff picked up the ride on the day, and it will be hard to get him off following that win!”