This weekend has the potential to be one of the best of Clint Lundholm’s career.
The Dubbo trainer hit the road for Sydney on Friday morning in preparation for Larlabrook’s involvement in Saturday’s $60,000 TAB Highway Handicap (1000m) at Royal Randwick.
He’ll then return home to get four chances ready for Sunday’s Gold Cup meeting at Dubbo Turf Club.
Lundholm’s quartet includes Dreadlock in the day’s feature, the $60,000 Cup (1600m), while Snippety Sip will run in the $40,000 Flying Handicap (1100m) sprint event.
“It’s going to be big. We’ve got one in at Randwick and at the same time we’ve got one in at Enngonia for a bunch of really good Bourke-based owners so we’re really at the two opposite sides of NSW and then we’re back to Dubbo,” he said.
With Larlabrook returning from a spell in top shape Lundholm admitted to some nerves in the build-up to his maiden city run. The four-year-old gelding enjoyed two wins and a second in his first three starts before being turned out for a spell.
“He’s got a really good chance,” he said.
“He’s grown into himself and he’s more mature. He’s casual around the stables and is hard to judge but at the trial he just came out and was really professional and trialled really well.”
Lundholm hasn’t made a trip to Sydney since having Dreadlock go around in a Highway event in February.
Dreadlock, four starts into his preparation, will jump from barrier nine in Sunday’s Gold Cup having run second in three of his past four starts.
“He loves running second. He’s always a bridesmaid,” Lundholm joked, before adding he felt the five-year-old was a “great chance” in the feature.
The trainer added Dreadlock was ready for the 1600m having been keen for more ground at Mudgee last time out.
The Dubbo-based trainer knows what it takes to win a feature on his home track, having collected the Gold Cup last year with Any Blinkin’ Day while he also won this year’s Silver Goblet with Check The Ticket.
Andrew Banks rode Check The Ticket to victory then and he will pilot both Dreadlock and Snippety Sip, with two wins and two placings in the past five starts, on Sunday.
“I’m very happy. We’ve got a great team of horses and workers,” Lundholm said.
“And we’ve also got good owners who give you the horses to compete in these big races.”
Larlabrook races at 12.15pm on Saturday while Sunday’s Gold Cup meeting starts from 12.35pm.