By Ray Hickson
He’s one of the early favourites for The Kosciuszko but trainer Todd Blowes is leaving nothing to chance by producing Noble Boy in a barrier trial at Canberra on Friday.
The Country Championships winner will trial alongside another Kosciuszko hopeful Handle The Truth in a 900m course proper heat.
Noble Boy is $4.60 second favourite with TAB for the $1.3m race on TAB Everest day at Randwick and the Queanbeyan trainer said the gelding won’t be showing off too much in the trial.
“I wanted to give him a trial before the ticket sales finish just to put his name up in lights for a couple of days,’’ Blowes said.
“It’ll only be probably the last 200m when he’s asked to stretch his legs.
“This one is basically to get him out and give him a day out and I’ll be looking to do more with him in the second trial in Sydney.’’
It’s likely that comeback jockey Brodie Loy will partner Noble Boy in the Canberra trial and Blowes said he hopes Hugh Bowman will be available for the second hit out towards the end of September.
The plan remains to run the five-year-old first-up in The Kosciuszko.
“He’s super, he’s really happy within himself and enjoying the stable life,’’ the trainer said.
“It’s only been the last fortnight when I’ve really started to pump the work into him. We still have nearly 50 days until Kosciuszko time but after the trial we’ll ramp things up for his second trial.’’
There’s less than a week until the close of sales of the $5 Kosciuszko tickets, that concludes this Sunday, and the draw for the 14 slots in the race takes place on September 10.
With a Country Championships win and a record of seven wins from nine starts, Noble Boy promises to be one of the most sought after country horses.
Blowes has given a clue as to what might help tip the scales in a prospective slot winner’s favour if they’re keen to secure Noble Boy for The Kosciuszko.
“A mate of mine has a foundation in Queanbeyan and I want to see if I can get them a little something out of it,’’ he said.
“I’m going to donate a percentage of my fees for the day and any prizemoney we might be lucky enough to earn so if I could I’d like to get someone to support that.
“It’ll be a hectic 24 hours after the draw but I’m ready for it.’’
Two of the 14 places in The Kosciuszko are reserved for ACT trained horses and Keith Dryden is hoping to claim one of those spots with Handle The Truth.
Noble Boy's Country Championships win at Randwick in April
The four-year-old hasn’t raced since he won easily at Rosehill on July 13 over 1200m and Dryden said he’ll be given a minor test out in the trial.
“I want him to have a solid enough hit out because he has to go to town to race,’’ he said.
“I’d be expecting him to run home in something like about 34 or 34.5 (seconds).
“I trialled him before he won in Sydney and never knocked him around so it’ll be something like that again.’’
Dryden has pencilled in a Benchmark 88 race over 1100m at Rosehill on September 14 or 1200m at Randwick on September 21 for Handle The Truth’s next run.
Tickets for the $1.3m The Kosciuszko (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 19 are available at all TAB outlets and via the TAB app for $5 each.
For full details on the Kosciuszko visit The Kosciuszko website.