Port Macquarie trainer Neil Godbolt expects in-form galloper Dixie Lad to be hard to beat coming off a seven-day back-up at Coffs Harbour on Monday.
Winner of two of his past three starts, Dixie Lad is backing up after a good win in the Shamardashing Open Hcp (1200n) at Grafton last Monday. He lines up with the 58kg topweight in Monday's Trevor Hardy Sprint (1200m) and is chasing his fourth win from six starts at the Coffs Harbour track.
"It looks a nice race for him, though it's probably a tougher race than at Grafton last week," said Godbolt. "But he loves the track at Coffs Harbour, is in good form and has drawn ideally in gate two. He's handled a quick back-up in the past and should race very well again."
Godbolt's confidence will certainly rise if there's any rain over the next day or two. Dixie Lad loves the sting out of the ground and his past two wins - at Grafton last Monday and at Port Macquarie on January 7 - were both on tracks rated a soft 5.
"I believe they're forecasting some rain over the weekend and that would be ideal for him," said Godbolt."Another soft 5 rating would suit him perfectly."
The Coffs Harbour track is currently rated a good 4. Jockey Belinda Hodder, who has ridden Dixie Lad three times for two wins and a third, retains the ride on Monday.
"Belinda rides work for me and really seems to have clicked with this horse," said Godbolt.
Godbolt is delighted to see Monday's race named in honour of veteran Coffs Harbour trainer Trevor Hardy. The Coffs Harbour Jockey Club named the race in Hardy's honour in recognition of his long and successful contribution to racing.
Hardy has had some health problems in recent times and hasn't had a runner since October 7 last year when Youwaitandsee finished unplaced behind Collar at Port Macquarie. But he's back at Coffs Harbour on Monday and so is Youwaitandsee who tackles the race that carries Hardy's name.
"I've known Trevor for years and it's great to see the race named in his honour and also great to see back with a runner," said Godbolt.
Hardy has won countless races in NSW and Queensland during his long career but is also well known as the man who guided the early riding careers of champion jockeys Glen Colless and Zac Purton who were both apprenticed to him at Coffs Harbour.