By Mark Brassel
A ‘scungy’ weanling that is rapidly developing into a ‘swan’ could prove the surprise packet in Sunday’s $150,000 State Wide Sheds Wellington Boot.
Trainer Neil Osborne has nominated Lolita Gold for the two-year-old 1100m scamper, a filly he purchased for a mere $8000 at a Magic Millions weanling sale.
“This filly is well-bred and on breeding, she’s one I would not normally be able to afford,” Osborne said.
“But she was scungy type and was totally overlooked by the bigger players.
“She is now starting to bloom and has turned into a swan. I think by this time next year you will see a really nice filly.”
Lolita Gold has only raced once as a $71 chance when sixth in a Dubbo 2yo race on March 25 but that’s on paper – her effort was excellent, coming from 13th spot at the 400m and finishing fast between runners.
“Yes, I was pretty happy with her first start. She was well back coming to the turn but motored to the line.
“Her dam Lolita Star won the Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington so she is nicely bred and will appreciate getting over more ground as she matures.
“But having only had the one start, my worry is if the Wellington Boot proves a very strong race she may not make the cut.”
Osborne won the 2014 with the ill-fated I Am Snippety who bolted in by more than six lengths. The trainer will also be taking up Friskee One who will be competing in the $100,000 Peter Milling & Co Wellington Cup (1700m).
Friskee One finished a sound fourth to Ave in a Dubbo 1600m event on March 25 after coming from 11th position: “She was having her second run back from a spell at Dubbo and there were a few excuses as she covered ground. She’ll run a decent race in the Wellington Cup.”
Rounding off Osborne’s team is Fraternater who finished sixth at the same meeting: “She was a bit plain last time out but has ability and we’re looking for a sharp improvement.”
Wellington Race Club’s course curator, John Mills, said: “Our track has never looked better it will be in perfect shape for Boot day.” WRC will provide a long list of activities and entertainment with a photo booth available along with a jumping castle and Dippin' Dots for the kids.
President, Ian Darney, said: “This year we have a two-storey bar ‘Cloud 9 Party on Wheels Vintage Bar’ which is open to all racegoers to enjoy a beverage in comfort overlooking the finish line. And Newcastle band Hurricane Fall will start playing around 4pm and party on late into the afternoon; they recently performed on The Bachelorette with Sophie Monk.”
Lachlan Valley Railway will be running a train to Wellington picking up in Orange and Stuart Town: “The train will be pulling 1930s carriages that have bar facilities and will drop them home at the completion of the day.
“There’ll also be a Members Luncheon as well as great food available from various groups in the town.” Wellington’s Calcutta will be held at the Soldiers Memorial Club next Saturday night (April 7).