Last Saturday, Sydney jockey Tye Angland gave up being at his brother’s wedding in order to ride a Group 1 winner at Randwick.
This week, it is Dubbo trainer Dar Lunn sacrificing a family wedding and he is hoping it will pay off in the same fashion.
Lunn’s gelding Not For Export will line up in the $200,000 Anniversary Highway (1400m) at Randwick.
It is one of the back-up races to the inaugural running of the TAB Everest (1200m).
And a couple of hours after Not For Export goes around, Lunn’s niece Natasha will be married in Dubbo.
It was a tough choice to make but in the end the lure of winning a big race on such a big day won out, despite it meaning a 5am start and a long drive to the big smoke.
“I was looking forward to the wedding, and then this race came around,” Lunn said.
“It’s not every day you’re going around for $200,000 on such a big day. To say we had a runner at the first Everest meeting will be massive.
“I just hope Natasha has a great day and they all have something to celebrate for a couple of hours before the wedding.”
Despite being the lowest-rated runner in the race, Not For Export was guaranteed a spot on the back of his slashing third placing in the final of the Country Championships over the same course and distance back in April.
And, like he was on that occasion, Lunn believes his charge can run a cheeky race at odds again on Saturday.
“Nobody gave us much of a chance that day but I reckon the Sydney racing suits him better because they run along and that suits him,” Lunn said.
“He’s had two runs at Randwick for two thirds in the final and in a Highway, so there’s no reason he won’t surprise a few of them again on Saturday.
“It’s funny how things pan out. He was number 14 in the final and he’s number 14 again on Saturday.
“He’s been carrying big weights out here and running home okay. He’s only got 53kg on Saturday so hopefully he’s there when the whips are cracking.”
Meanwhile, Wagga Wagga-based trainer Trevor Sutherland isn’t fazed by the opposition or the bolter’s odds ($71 on TAB fixed odds) about Gentleman Max in the Highway Anniversary and is one trainer praying for rain at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
“He’s won nine races, easily the most in the field. He's won near two hundred grand; potential is one thing, producing on the race track is another and if it rains he’s as good a wet tracker as Jungle Edge,” Sutherland said.
“We’ve drawn the car park but we’re not coming all this way to be spectators on a great day. This is a tough-performed gelding and it’s always a factor.
"And to be at headquarters for an occasion like The Everest is just about as exciting as being there to watch Winx.”