Dubbo trainer Garry Lunn has given himself every chance of having a runner in The Big Dance in 2023 after Knife's Edge took out the Coonabarabran Cup.
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Run just two days prior to Christmas, Knife's Edge showed great late speed to hit the line first in the feature race of the meeting, the Coonabarabran Bowling Club Showcase Cup (1600m).
Ridden by Mikayla Weir, Lunn told Sky Thoroughbred Central after the race he thought he would be in with a good chance given the six-year-old gelding's talent.
"I just told her 'to ride for luck' if he was anywhere near them at the fold I thought it would get them," he said.
"The horse is going really, really well, he has been unlucky at a couple of races.
"He is a really smart horse and I'm happy to put him away now so we can have a crack at The Big Dance next year."
Knife's Edge ($8.50) got a solid jump out of barrier two but sat towards the rear of the field in the opening stages of the race on a track which seemingly favoured the front-runners.
Tavion Prince ($21) showed great early speed to lead from High Court ($5.50) and Freedom Square ($4.20) as the race continued.
Kylie Kennedy's Wild Rocket ($71) showed strong speed out wide around the bend but on the straight, it was all about Knife's Edge.
Beckford ($4.20) and High Court both kicked away to battle for the lead only to be bested by Knife's Edge as the gelding cruised past late to take the win by roughly half a length.
High Court managed to grab a commendable second place ahead of Beckford and Tavion Prince.
As the Coonabarabran Cup was a Big Dance qualifier, Lunn and Knife's Edge now are eligible to be selected in the final field for the $2 million race run on Melbourne Cup Day at Royal Randwick.
With roughly 11 months between the Coonabarabran Cup and The Big Dance, Lunn isn't exactly sure what is next for his gelding.
"I just will see what they want to do with him, I might freshen him up because he is a better horse fresh," he said.
"I was going to take him into town on Thursday but I want to come here, he almost was going to go in the Gilgandra Cup but he would've taken too much weight.
"It was a great ride and I'm happy she (Weir) got the win because she's only had a couple of rides on him."
Earlier in the day, Peter Stanley's The Long Run ($5.50) took out the Imperial Hotel Cup Day Showcase Sprint (1100m).
Ridden by his son William, the Stanleys were too good in the sprint to give the mare her first win since July 2022 at Wellington.
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