Peter Gavin faces tricky test to land a winner in meeting at Dubbo Harness Racing Club

IN THE HUNT: Big Bill (right) has a number of wins on his home track but faces a big challenge to succeed again on Sunday. Photo: NICK GUTHRIE
IN THE HUNT: Big Bill (right) has a number of wins on his home track but faces a big challenge to succeed again on Sunday. Photo: NICK GUTHRIE

The barrier draw for Sunday’s meeting has done Peter Gavin no favours but with no more meetings in the region for a couple of months he’s got to keep his horses "ticking over”.

While the likes of Big Bill and The Only Child have shown glimpses of top talent in recent times, they will both face stiff challenges when going around in Sunday’s eight-race meeting at Dubbo Harness Racing Club.

Gavin’s other hope at the meeting, Aces For Annie, also has to deal with starting from wide in the second row.

“They’re ticking over but that’s about all their doing,” he said, bluntly.

After a strong of meetings at his hometown track, there won’t be another Dubbo meeting for close to two months after Sunday.

The Only Child has been one of Gavin’s most consistent performers, recording two seconds and two thirds in his past four starts.

“He’s been going well but he just doesn’t know how to win,” Gavin said.

“He’s right on his day though.”

Last weekend, The Only Child set off as a $1.70 favourite and was sitting pretty when leading the field into the final lap.

However, he was pipped by $17.40 outsider Abercrombie Tab right on the line.

That left his record at 10 wins and 16 placings from 56 starts.

On Sunday he will go from gate nine in the Red Ochre Stallion Tender Closes 9 September 2018 Pace (2120m).

Big Bill will be in action later in the meeting, going from gate 10 in the NSW Standardbred Owners Association Ladyship Pace (1720m).

After a run of inconsistency, the five-year-old gelding got back to winning ways last weekend.

That was his fifth win in 27 career starts.

“He’s good when he draws right,” Gavin said.

Aces For Nine is the trainer’s third hope in the meeting and the mare is still searching for a breakthrough win.

She has shown little to hint at ending the drought, having not even finished in the first three since August of 2015.

Fellow Dubbo trainer Brett Pay has four hopes in on Sunday.

Sunday’s eight-race meeting starts at 1.28pm.

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