Dubbo Paceway has often been a happy hunting ground for Mat Rue and his success at the track continued on Sunday when he drove winners in four of the eight races on offer.
Lethal Promise continued his fine form in one of the day’s main events, a heat of the Western District Championship (2120m), while he also guided Long Way Home to a hugely impressive maiden win for Dubbo trainer Amanda Coffee.
He also scored with Im Ok in the day’s main event for Bernie Hewitt and $12.40 chance Irish Priest later in the day.
While it’s easy to enjoy making a trip to a track where you’ve landed plenty of winners in the past, Rue said his winning strikerate isn’t the only reason he enjoys making the trip from Bathurst to Dubbo.
“I love coming to Dubbo. It’s probably the best half-mile track going around and that’s not just because of the shape of it but it’s the best racing surface of any track I race on, I think, and it’s always soft and good on the horses legs,” he said.
“I’ve had a lot of success there but I enjoy it for a number of reasons.”
It’s the best racing surface of any track I race on.Mat Rue on Dubbo Paceway
Rue also lavished praise on the Hewitt-trained Lethal Promise, whose consistent form has him looming large for the Western District Championship Final at Bathurst on August 30.
“I think he’s a really strong chance,” he said of the final.
“He’s a really nice horse. His last 10 or so starts he’s been going really good and there’s been a lot of strong efforts.
“He copped plenty of pressure and at 1:59 that was easily the quickest mile rate of the day but if someone had come at him late I think he still had more to offer.”
The $3.10 chance was a convincing winner in Sunday’s heat, getting home 7.7m ahead of $2 favourite Hez Razor Sharp, also trained by Hewitt, while Grant Jones’ Fianna Gael ($13.60) was third.
The win with Lethal Promise made it a treble in the first six races for Rue after wins with Im Ok and Long Way Home earlier.
The Coffee-trained gelding was a warm $1.70 favourite in the Goodtime Lody-Goodtime Sammy Three Year Old Pace (2120m) so the win came as no shock but Rue was left impressed.
“I though he was my best chance of the day,” Rue said.
“He got everything his own way. There was no pressure at the start of the race, and no pressure in the middle but he did his last 800m in 57.4 (seconds) and that’s a good time for any horse to run, let alone a three-year-old maiden so I think he’s got a bit of talent.”