It took a while to get Eugene’s Pick ($5.50 on TAB fixed odds) to the races but Kembla Grange trainer Luke Price believes the effort will pay dividends.
The Mastercraftsman mare is a four-year-old but has only had three starts under her belt after proving tough to break-in.
“The owners bought her out of New Zealand cheap because she couldn’t be broken in," said Luke Price.
"They have a good man on the farm and he spent a lot of time getting her ready and she finally got to us.
“From the first day she has looked a city quality horse but she needs to get out to a trip.
”She has missed a placing yet and that just shows the ability she has.”
Another step on the path to town will be in the Jeff Penza Handicap on her home track on Saturday. Eugene’s Pick is coming off a Goulburn maiden win and goes to 1300m.
“She had a lot of improvement out of that because she was really fresh and she is still progressing,” Price said.
“This might be a bit short for her but with a horse like her they can do it on quality.
“She has a huge backend to her races and my only worry is the wide the draw.”
Illawarra Turf Club honours the premiership winners from season 2017-18 at Saturday’s meeting and Price is hopeful of providing premier apprentice Brock Ryan with the winner of his race in Le Dejeuner.
“It would be good for Brock to win that race and she is going really well,” Price said.
The ITC has also named a race after Arnie Bowden, a long-time bookmaker at the provincial track, who died earlier in the month after a battle with Motor Neurone Disease.
“Arnie was a great mate to his fellow bookmakers and a familiar friendly face around the South East region of NSW,” Illawarra Turf Club Racing Manager Michael Craig said. “He’s going to be sorely missed.”