Talented mare Assurity will be chasing back-to-back victories in Friday’s $20,000 Queen of the Valley Matchmaker (1280m) at Muswellbrook.
Last year, under the guidance of Greg Ryan, the mare pulled off a $14 into $9 plunge by powering through near the fence once the cutaway rail took effect to easily account for favourite Reward for Fashion.
Tamworth trainer Sue Grills will trial Assurity prior to finalising plans for the six-year-old.
The mare has not started since finishing strongly for fourth to Central Witness at Grafton (1410m) back in April.
“We had a bit of a hiccup with her and that’s why she has only had the one run since March,” Grills explained.
“We’ll trial her and see how she pulls up and hopefully she’s fit enough to tackle the Muswellbrook race – it would be nice to win it two years running.”
Grills is also hoping to start The Gun and Not a Princess at Muswellbrook. The Gun is entered for the Dubleo @ Cangon Stud Class 1 Handicap (1000m).
“We were really happy with his last start as we’ve had problems with him. But in saying that, he is a lovely horse with plenty of ability.”
The Gun was having his second run from a spell when a fast-finishing second (beaten a short head) to Sister Joy at Quirindi (1000m) on June 23.
Not a Princess is expected to run in the Lord of the Sky Kingstar Farm Class 1 (1280m). Last time out the four-year-old finished fourth to Skyscraper at Quirindi (1200m) on the same day as The Gun.
“Her run wasn’t too bad but she just didn’t handle going down the hill at Quirindi. It looks a nice race for her at Muswellbrook.”
The top five placegetters in the Queen of the Valley Matchmaker earn stallion nominations from studs. The winner receives first selection and so on until all are claimed.
Muswellbrook Race Club’s GM, Duane Dowell, said: “The Matchmaker has been run annually at Muswellbrook for a long time providing a great opportunity for owners to access some very good sires for the upcoming breeding season for their mares.
“There’s a good mix of proven stallions like Casino Prince, Dubleo and Ad Valorem, and Kingstar Farm has two up and coming stallions in Bull Point and Lord of the Sky.”
The stallions are Casino Prince (Vinery), Bull Point & Lord of the Sky (Kingstar Farm), and Dubleo & Ad Valorem (Cangon Stud Farm).
“We are opening the gates for free and there’ll be plenty of facilities available including a dining area and café, a bar and the popular Caffe Mobilita,” Dowell said.