If trainer George Osborne needed any additional facts to back-up the credentials of Mount Horeb in Thursday'S Wagga Town Plate he only needed to look at the horse’s record in New South Wales.
Despite having one of the best winning percentages of any horse that has raced in NSW in recent years, Mount Horeb is rated a $10 chance and Osborne feels that is a fair assessment of the quality in the field.
Osborne trains his horses at Kyneton and knows what it takes to win a country race of this standard.
“I have won a few major races of a similar status and his price is about right,” Osborne said.
“I have never had a runner in the Town Plate and he is the right horse to bring up with his record in NSW.”
That record takes some beating.
Mount Horeb has raced seven times in NSW – all at Albury – for six wins and a close second.
Albury is Osborne’s closest port of call to Kyneton, but he had no hesitation going that bit further to race at Wagga.
“It is the hardest race he has ever been in, but I couldn’t have him any better,” Osborne enthused.
“He was nowhere near ready when he won the Albury City Handicap and since then he has had a jump out at Kyneton and is as good as I can get him.”
Mount Horeb, who will be ridden by Winona Costin, hasn’t raced since Albury which was only his second start in twelve months.
Mount Horeb wins at Albury on March 19
The five-year-old has won the past two editions of the City Handicap which is a fair indication of his chances going into Wagga which presents a bigger challenge.
The cards are falling in place for Mount Horeb with a draw in the middle of the pack ideal, according to his trainer.
“If I could have selected a barrier it would have been eight. It will allow him to be in the right spot if he needs to get to the inside or outside,” he said.
“The track is going to be wet from what I have been told, but I’m encouraged by the fact he should have won on a heavy track at Gawler but had no luck.
“He hasn’t had a great deal of runs in the wet, but I think he will be right from what he has shown me.”
Forecast heavy rain will have an impact on the final field with some trainers stating they will withdraw their horses if it’s too wet.
Osborne won’t be one of those and is glad to have a “live chance” in the feature race.
“He has been beaten a short half head once in NSW and won the other six which takes a bit to do,” Osborne stated.
“He had a long time off before this campaign, but I couldn’t have him any better for this race.”
Mount Horeb has won seven of his 17 starts and earned $131,000.
His winning strike-rate is the best in the Plate and Osborne feels the gelding can again acquit himself with distinction.
“There are some very good horses in it, but you can only do the best by your own horse and he is spot on,” Osborne said.