A win in the Dandy Cup last year was one of a number of highlight’s for Darren Hyde’s Found At Last and on Saturday the Dubbo trainer returns to Narromine to defend his crown.
While 2015 was a stellar year for the gelding, including Cup wins at Narromine and Bathurst, things haven’t been quite as perfect in 2016.
The six-year-old had a 32-week spell early in the year after having surgery on two knees to remove bone chips but Hyde is quietly confident everything is in place just in time for Saturday.
“He’s in good order,” the trainer said in the lead up to the $20,000 race.
“It hasn’t been the ideal preparation with the wet winter and he usually takes about three runs back but he’s had two barrier trials (as well as an 11th-placed finish at Dubbo) and he won one at Wellington last weekend and went good.”
That trial win was particularly pleasing for Hyde, as was the barrier draw for the Dandy Cup. Found At Last will jump from barrier two with Dubbo’s Kody Nestor onboard.
Mathew Cahill has been the regular rider for Hyde and was in the saddle in the Cup last year but he was already booked to ride Two Penny Blue for sister Kathryn on Saturday.
Hyde is hoping for a bit of pace early so Found At Last can sit towards the front and finish with a flourish.
“He’s always had a bit of ability and shown he could go further than what he has,” he said. “With a bit of luck we might be in the finish.”