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Punter's Pal - WRA Country Championships Qualifier (Coonamble Sunday)

By Ray Hickson

Nothing but quotes from the trainer of every runner in the $150,000 Dad & Dave's Turf & Evergreen Turf Australia WRA Country Championships Qualifier (1400m) at Coonamble on Sunday.

1. Sipharderson (trainer Clint Lundholm): “He’s probably a 1200m specialist and when you go to 1400m it stretches to the max he wants. I was hoping he’d draw an alley so he could position up nice and close but he’s drawn terrible so we’ll leave it up to Bucko (Grant Buckley) to where he wants to place him. When you get in these big races they are run more genuinely, I still believe he’s a chance but it would have been nice to draw an alley.”

2. Sneak Preview (trainer Kody Nestor): “He needed the run (at Mudgee), it wasn’t a gut buster but he did need it. The hard track probably didn’t help him. He drops to 57.5kg for the Qualifier and he’s not an overly big horse, only about 470kg, so to get back in with that weight makes it a winnable race for him. He’s probably better off just given a bit of a squeeze out of the gates to put his mind on the job, if you dawdle out on him he will dawdle around behind them. I’d think he will be a lot closer than what he was at Mudgee first-up.”

Trainer Kody Nestor (Pic: Bradley Photos)

3. Fast Talking (trainer Kody Nestor): “I didn’t expect him to win in the fashion he won over 1200m. He’s more a miler to 2000m horse so for him to kick off his preparation like that is a confidence boost heading into Sunday. He’s pulled up well, he and Sneak Preview galloped together on Tuesday and I couldn’t split them. He’s a horse that will win a nice race some time in the future. He’s a pretty adaptable horse, I won’t be giving Greg Ryan any instructions on him.”

4. Supreme Attraction (trainer Rodney Robb): “His run first-up was good I thought and his run at Cowra was good too. He got shuffled right back and came around them, his run peaked about the 60m. He has a better draw this week, it's a pretty tough race and luck plays a big part in it. He should be a bit better than midfield, that's what we are hoping.”

5. Festival Of Light (trainer Rodney Robb): “It wasn't a bad run at Mudgee, he didn't settle as well as we thought he could in running. He's always shown that he warrants his position in the field. We put the blinkers on him hoping he'd race a little bit closer, he looks around a bit too much. We've been working him in them, he hasn't had them on in a race for a long time, for the last month.”

6. Sir Winkle (trainer Clint Lundholm): “We’ve been trying to manage his feet and keep the fitness up to him, in a perfect preparation we would have been able to give him a start but it didn’t work out that way. I think we’ve done enough work with him to get him there and be a good chance, especially with barrier one. His second trial looked a lot better, he looked stronger in the trial and he’s really pulled up and done well since. He’s shown a lot of promise winning two out of eight and only missed a place once. Everything being equal he’s going to be a chance. There’s lots of positives, he’ll position up on the speed and if he’s good enough he will be in the finish.’’

7. Toulon Brook (trainer Kody Nestor): “He’s had an up and down preparation, things haven’t quite gone his way. We were supposed to go to Cowra for a 1375m but he came out with a bit of a foot abscess. It was always going to be a bit short for him at Dubbo the other day but he needed the hit out. He raced like a horse looking for further so the seven furlongs should help. I think he will go up a bit of value and if he is right on his game he is a knockout hope.”

8. California Fox (trainer Allan Gibson): “His first-up run at Mudgee was fairly good I thought, he ran out of a bit of puff, and we're hoping with the run under his belt he can improve on it. He'll roll forward, there'd be a bit of speed on I'd imagine. We'll be up there and it's a matter of how much they leave us alone or how much pressure they put on. I think he has a bit of a chance, there's probably six others with a chance, and a lot will depend on how the race pans out. He just flies out of the machine so it's no good trying to hold him back. He'll be up there in the firing line and hopefully he's still there at the end.”

9. A Krupt Pick (SCRATCHED).

Trainer Rodney Robb (Pic: Janian McMillan/Sarsfield Thoroughbreds)

10. Adsum (trainer Clint Lundholm): “We knew going to Bathurst it wasn’t our track to be at. It wasn’t run to suit him, he missed out on a Highway the week before so he started at Bathurst to get a run in. He was supposed to start here last week but he reared in the barriers and they scratched him. He’s had a good jump out at home, back through the barriers, he’ll go back near enough to last and will be rocketing home late.”

11. Zamali (trainer Bruce Parker): “He was pretty strong at Mudgee. A horse went past him and pulled out in front of him and he had to wait and get around him, if he didn't have to pause he'd have probably won. He's come up well, we would have liked to have won another one but he's gone close. He's down in the weights for this race and we've been drawing wide. I'd like to see him about midfield. I think he's an each-way chance, he's hitting the line pretty good and he has a bit of heart.”

12. Ready Set Go (trainer Rodney Robb): “We threw him in hoping. I said to Wendy (Peel) to have him wherever you can have him and you'll have to try to steal every yard in the race. Find the fence and steal every bit of ground you can to finish in the best position.”

13. Miss Academy (trainer Kody Nestor): “She probably doesn’t have the class but she has been racing well and his rock hard fit. For the owners she’s earned a spot there, she’s probably going to be a bit of a roughie in the race but it’s a thrill for them to be going around for $150,000. She’s an honest little mare, I’ll give her that, she tries very hard.”

14. Dusky Damsel (trainer Clint Lundholm): “She’s come back in really good shape, I was confident with her heading towards the Championships but her last two have been up in the air. She over raced two starts back, we went with a cross over nose band at Mudgee and she stayed in the gates and came out last but came home well. Blinkers back on and she’s a dark horse in the race, fully fit now and she has ability.”

15E. So Good To Me (trainer Clint Lundholm): “It was a late decision to chuck her in the race, if she gained a start it’d be nice for the owner to have a runner. She’s a nice benchmark mare, she won two last preparation and is a genuine seven furlong to a mile mare. If she sneaks in she’ll run a nice race.”

All the fields, form and replays for Sunday's Country Championships meeting at Coonamble

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