By Julieanne Horsman
Dave Heywood has celebrated hundreds of wins in his career, both as a jockey and a trainer.
He even won his home town feature, the Wagga Gold Cup, in 1985 with Pride of Indies.
One that’s eluded him is the Wagga Town Plate, but this Thursday Man Of Peace has the chance to tick that race off Heywood’s bucket list.
“It’d mean the world to me,” Heywood said. “I’ve had plenty of runners and got a 3rd with Grand Ridge but I’ve never been able to win it.”
Man Of Peace gained automatic entry into the $110,000 XXXX Gold Wagga Town Plate with his eye-catching win in the Prelude on 23rd April. With Simon Miller aboard, he flew out the gates and led all the way, fending off a late challenge from Got The Goss to win by a head.
“It was a very good run and he’s come through it well,” Heywood said. “I never like to get too confident but he has plenty of ability and I am hopeful he can step up and get a good result on Thursday.”
Man Of Peace has drawn ideally in barrier 4 and is one of seven horses carrying the minimum 54kgs. He’ll again partner with Simon Miller who also rode him to a good fourth in the Snake Gully Cup last November.
“I’ve always had respect for Simon as a jockey and he’s done a good job with Man Of Peace,” Heywood said.
“My main worry is Got The Goss. We only just beat him last start and this time he meets us 6.5kgs lighter.
“It’s a pretty handy field all round. The Freedmans’ horse (Santa Ana Lane) is highly rated and Lord Von Costa had a good run in the Prelude after missing the start.
“Man Of Peace makes his own luck though. He jumps well and gets on the speed and stays out of trouble.”
Man Of Peace is a special horse for Dave Heywood. He bred the gelding (who is by Wagga stallion Zariz) himself having trained his dam, Ruby Rosewyn, in the early 2000s. He reared and broke the horse in and has his wife, sister, brother in law and some close friends in the ownership group.
“It’s nice to be able to do things like this with your friends and family,” Heywood said. “I’m looking forward to the Carnival.”