IN-FORM Gunnedah trainer Gavin Groth is looking to continue his good run of success when he saddles up runners at his home track today.
Over the Christmas period, Groth scored wins with Darkness (Quirindi), Mount Annan (Moree) and Zanda’s Law (Quirindi) and says he is “quietly confident” he can snare some prizemoney from the Gunnedah meeting.
He is also looking forward to putting the disappointment of having to scratch both his horses – Leige Law and Darkness – from the New Year’s Day meeting at Wallabadah.
Port Macquarie jockey Adam Nicholls failed to turn up for the meeting and, after desperately trying to find riders, he was forced to scratch midway through the meeting.
At Glen Innes on Saturday, Our Danny Boy (1000m), Leige Law (class 2 1400m), Darkness (class 2 1400m) all raced, with Darkness the best of the trio, finishing third to Mr Giggles in the final race on Glen Innes Cup day.
Schalager was nominated for Glen Innes but the seven-year-old son of Lonhro will start in today’s 1000m Plate at Gunnedah.
“He galloped on the grass yesterday morning and I wasn’t entirely happy with the way he pulled up,” Groth said.
“He’s a very talented galloper on his day but capable of just about anything.
“It will be his first run back after a long spell but, remember, he has won in Sydney and Scone.”
Groth has four other runners at the Gunnedah Somerton Cup TAB meeting – Steel Academy, Mount Annan, Camlouise and Steel Fixer.
Three-year-old gelding Steel Academy has been freshened up for the meeting after racing with no luck during his last preparation in which he ran two seconds at Armidale, beaten in photo finishes, and a third at Gunnedah.
Groth makes no secret of the fact that he has big wraps on four-year-old gelding Mount Annan.
At his last two starts he finished second in a photo at Quirindi over 1450m and then came out and won at Moree over 1300m.
Three-year-old filly Camlouise has a wind problem and Groth has changed tactics on the training track and made a few gear alterations in preparation for today’s Class 1 1300m race.
Early this preparation she finished third at Gunnedah and then won by four lengths at Narromine before turning in two shockers.
Her last-start second at Quirindi over 1100 metres brings her right into contention in the Gunnedah race.
Groth is confident four-year-old gelding Steel Fixer is looking for more ground and is of the opinion the 1600 metre event at Gunnedah is ideal.
“He’s been carrying the grandstand and I’ve secured the services of apprentice Sue Bigg, who will claim 3kg,” Groth said.