By Geoff Newling
Peak Hill is an up and coming talent taking on the more experienced gallopers in Thursday’s $60,000 XXXX Gold Lismore Cup (2100m) for his Lismore trainer Daniel Bowen.
The son of Rip Van Winkle has had just 14 starts for two wins and $27,740 in prizemoney.
He hasn’t even raced on his home track yet and makes his debut there in the Cup against the older and more experienced gallopers from across Northern NSW and Queensland.
He isn’t the only up and comer Bowen has in Thursday’s eight-race Cup meeting.
The 33-year-old horseman also has the likes of Queen Of Kingston and Almas well placed on a day the young trainer regards as his biggest racing day of the year.
The last three years he’s celebrated winners on Cup day too and hopes to continue that record when Thursday rolls around.
“It should be a good day (weather wise),” Daniel Bowen said Tuesday night.
“The last few years I’ve had a winner on Cup day. It’s a great thrill to win at home on Cup day. It’s our biggest day of the year and i do plan ahead for it.”
He’s been able to set a few of his stable stars for the day. While he described Peak Hill as an up and comer he also says the same about Queen Of Kingston and Almas.
Queen Of Kingston is a five-year-old chestnut daughter of Nicconi with four wins in 10 starts.
She can be a handful too, although her most recent outing, a good win in a 1406m Class 3 at Grafton she was much better mannered.
The talented mare runs in Thursday’s $30,000 Lismore Workers Club Rousillon Showcase Handicap (1516m) with Stephen Traecey jumping her from barrier eight.
“She got the limit (54kg weight) and will go forward from the good barrier (1),” Daniel Bowen.
“She should be able to put herself in the race, lead hopefully. She has a lot of class and has come a long way. her manners have improved too.”
Almas, he said, is also on the “way up”.
He’s won four of his last five starts and comes off a last start win at Lismore where he beat queen of Kingston back on August 14.
“It’s been five weeks between runs,” Bowen said.
“He was going to the paddock but his owners had some hopes of making the Kosciuszko. he is a horse on the way up and is going to get a good run from the barrier (1). This is his toughest test though. He is well weighted and has a good barrier.”
Matthew McGuren will ride him but will ride him a kilogram over, something that Daniel Bowen isn’t a great concern.
“I want to keep Matty on him, he’s ridden him his last four wins, Daniel Bowen added.
Daniel also has Dux Nutz running Thursday and he believes he also has a good hope.
‘He’s a horse that will run a good race. His last run was pretty good from a bad barier. He’s up in distance (1300m) but down dramatically in weight with a good barrier.”
That Daniel’s fortunes have risen over the last 12 months is easy to see.
He’s jumped from around a dozen in work to 23 after his best season on record, training 26 winners in NSW and Queensland.
He’s hoping that success translates to another winning Cup day at home so he can also continue to promote his stable.
It also brings us back to Peak Hill, Daniel’s four-year-old bay gelding.
The son of Rip Van Winkle is an “improver”, Daniel said, “an up and comer”.
“He’s come to this race very quickly,” he said of the $60,000 XXXX Gold Lismore Cup.
“A few weeks ago I thought he’d be looking at this race in 12 months time. But he won well at Grafton and then he had no luck his last start, got blocked for a run. So I just thought we’d give him a go. I won’t be surprised if he runs a big race. Just needs a bit of luck.”