A positive Clint Lundholm states he has “no concerns” heading into Sunday’s massive Gold Cup showcase meeting at Dubbo Turf Club.
The hometown trainer won’t have any chances in the day’s main race, the $60,000 Dubbo City Toyota Gold Cup, but he has six horses in action throughout the meeting.
Two of those are in the day’s feature sprint event, the XXXX Gold Dubbo Cup Day Showcase Flying Handicap (1100m).
Joey’s Destiny goes into the $40,000 event as one of the favourites after winning the sprint prelude event last month, while former Silver Goblet winner Any Blinkin’ Day is looking for another feature win for his collection.
Joey’s Destiny has drawn barrier 10 for the event, with Greg Ryan again taking the ride.
“He’s dropped 2kg from the last win but that goes for most the field,” Lundholm said.
“There’s a few in there who he went around against the other day but he put them all away pretty easily.
“That was on a wet track but he can be just as dominant on a good track.”
The win in the prelude event came from barrier five, but the wide gate holds no real concerns for the trainer.
One of Lundholm’s most consistent and well-performed gallopers, the five-year-old gelding hasn’t run worse than fourth in his past 15 runs, a streak stretching all the way back to October of 2016.
Ryan has been in the saddle for the bulk of those rides and Lundholm has complete confidence in the champion jockey getting the job done again on Sunday.
“We leave it up to Greg. He’s ridden 70 or 80 percent of his career starts and he knows how to race him,” the trainer said.
“He’s pretty quick and he can go forward if he needs to or he can take a sit if need be.
“Looking at the race, there’s plenty of speed on the inside and some on the outside so I’d expect him to give a dig and get across. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t in the first four or five.”
Lundholm admitted he was “surprised” by the dominant five-length margin Joey’s Destiny put on his rivals in the prelude, but he expects a strong showing again on Sunday. He also expects a handy run from Any Blinkin’ Day.
“He gave them a really big start in that (prelude) and he is a wet track specialist but he ran a massive race then,” Lundholm said.
“He’s in good shape so I’m expecting another good race.”
The Flying Handicap is the fifth race of the day and jumps at 3pm.
Outside that, Lundholm has three contenders lining up in the Country Only Class 2 Showcase Plate (1100m), while a last-start winner will contest the Class 1 Showcase Handicap (1300m).
Dreadlock makes his return from a spell in the former, alongside Sons Of Bourke and Sissie’s Choice, a mare targetting a third straight win.
In the class 1 event, Skullharderson will line up having secured victory at Dubbo last time out.
Sunday’s bumper nine-race meeting gets underway at 12.40pm.