By Mark Brassel
Makeadane is making a firm case as a country cups horse and his status is likely to be further enhanced when he steps out at Quirindi this Friday.
The in-form galloper will be contesting the feature event on the Racing NSW Country Showcase program, the $50,000 Akubra Quirindi Showcase Cup (1600m).
Randwick-based trainer John Thompson said his charge is relishing his racing: “He’s going great guns at the moment.”
Makeadane powered home last start to claim the Bega Cup over 1600m on the Sapphire Coast (six hours south from Randwick) and will now head four and a half hours in the opposite direction (north-west) to tackle the Quirindi Cup.
The six-year-old was well-ridden by Brodie Loy, making up a lot of ground along the fence before easing across the heels of the leader to pounce late.
Makeadane beat a solid field in the Bega Cup including Almost Court, who had won four of his previous five starts, Rock on Zariz (Randwick winner) and American Time (five-time Canberra winner).
“He’s a horse that travels well so he won’t have a problem going up to Quirindi,” Thompson said.
The 1600m journey is Makeadane’s’s optimum trip with five of his six wins over the distance.
Brodie Loy will be offered the ride on Makeadane after his excellent effort at Sapphire Coast.
“Brodie is a Southern Districts jockey but asked to ride him again after the win. It’s a fairly long trip for him but he did nothing wrong to win the cup.
“If Brodie is prepared to travel up to Quirindi, we’re more than open to him being on the horse again.”
Makeadane is a tough horse and the Quirindi Cup will be his 11th start this campaign that kicked off last September and if successful, will pass the $200,000 mark in prizemoney.
Billionaire retailer and avid horse owner-breeder Gerry Harvey is a part-owner of Makeadane.
The Quirindi Cup is supported by the $40,000 Quirindi RSL Club Lightning Showcase Handicap (1100m) and the $40,000 Regional Australia Bank Country Maiden Showcase (1200m) with a total of $285,00 in prizemoney on offer.
Meanwhile, next Sunday sees the much-anticipated start to the 2018 Country Championships with Port Macquarie staging the first $150,000 qualifying race.
First and second in each of the qualifiers gain a berth in the $500,000 Country Championships Final run at Royal Randwick on Saturday 7 April.
Local trainer Jenny Graham will figure prominently with exciting young performers Awesome Pluck and Victorem expected to contest the event.
Awesome Pluck has won two of his five starts including an impressive win at Port Macquarie on February 2, with Victorem a winner of three of just four appearances, including a Royal Randwick victory in December.