It’s a giant leap for Tuncoona to overcome, but trainer Clint Lundholm believes the mare is still on the improve heading into Dubbo’s meeting on Friday.
Tuncoona stunned most by the extent of her maiden victory at Enngonia two weeks ago when she blew her rivals away by almost 11 lengths. She has to try and do it again stepping up to a Class 1 over 1000 metres in TAB class, but Lundholm isn’t dismissive of her chances.
Drawn ideally in barrier two, Tuncoona is one of three starters Lundholm will now have as he will scratch topweight Joey’s Destiny from the Benchmark 60 (1000m).
“She has taken the next step this campaign. It’s hard to go from maiden class to a Class 1 and win but I think she is capable of doing it,” he said. “She showed a little bit last preparation, but had a few issues and this time is she is fully matured and has come back well.”
The reason for the trip to Enngonia was to try and get a win for some of her owners whose family come from nearby. Tuncoona didn’t let them down winning by ten and three-quarter lengths in the first real sign of her ability after three previous unplaced runs.
With a trial win and a first-up victory behind her, Tuncoona has to jump in grade but will have every chance to make it consecutive wins from an ideal gate. The 1000 metres is ideal as Tuncoona showed in her trial win at Dubbo running 57.72 seconds which would be good enough to win most races of this class.
Jockey Michael Hackett has been aboard Tuncoona in both her trial and race win and will again be aboard on Friday.
“The hard part is the opposition she has to face. There are some horses from good stables who target these $20,000 races because the prize money is so good,” he said. “You need the right horse to win and I think she is up to this type of race.”
The trainer will also saddle up Blinkin Rocket in the absence of Joey’s Destiny and feels the veteran is better weighted to run an improved race. He will drop three kilograms on his last start fourth at Wellington and also has to overcome the statistic of not having won at Dubbo in 11 starts.
The eight-year-old has been placed at the track three times and will again be ridden by apprentice jockey Chris Williams. Lundholm’s first starter for the day is Sissie’s Choice who ran fourth as a short priced favourite on debut in January
The trainer is adopting a wait and see approach with the mare: “She pulled up lame after her first start and is only a lightly framed mare. She is showing enough to be competitive,” he said. Leading jockey Greg Ryan will taken the ride.