Tamworth trainer hoping to pluck his first Golden Guitar

KEN Natty’s got a feeling.

A real good feeling that could hit the right pacing note at Tamworth Paceway just after 8pm tonight when the $20,000  Pryde’s EasiFeed Golden Guitar is run.

Natty has Gotta Feeling entered in  the  feature race.

The Tamworth trainer has never won the Golden Guitar and hopes Gotta Feeling can give him that winning feeling.

The six-year-old son of Modern Art won his 15th race last Sunday night when he won the second of five Golden Guitar heats.

He won it in the quickest time of the  night too, dashing home over the top of Major Gambler and Sir Brutus to win by 1.5m in 2mins 26.4secs.

That equated to a mile rate of 1:58.9.

Peter Hedges drove Gotta Feeling for Natty, who has a small team he prepares here in Tamworth.

Hedges reckons he’s one of the most under-rated trainers around.

“He deserves to win a race like this on his home track,”  Hedges said.

And Hedges is confident Gotta Feeling’s 84th race start can end in Golden Guitar success.

“He will back up – he thrives on racing,” Hedges added.

 Natty agrees.

Before Sunday’s heat win, Gotta Feeling had been forced to make the running in races at Tamworth, Maitland and Newcastle.

However, being able to sit behind Major Gambler and Sir Brutus and then swoop was almost a luxury.

Natty believes he will have the same sort of run in tonight’s final after drawing the second line.

He will have to contend with impressive heat winners such as Queensland mare Goldplay, Cessnock gelding Set In Stone and Eglinton gelding Smokin Bopper.

Smokin Bopper is one of three runners Nathan Hurst has in tonight’s final.

The trainer had two runners last year and has come up from his base in the small town near Bathurst, to try to win his first Guitar.

He is “pleased to have qualified” the three horses – Major Gambler, Smokin Bopper and We Own The Night – for tonight’s feature.

“Each of the runners has been racing extremely well and I’m hoping it is our night,”  Hurst said.

“I will be driving Major Gambler, Angela (Hedges) will be driving Smokin Bopper and I’m just going to wait and have a look at what drivers are going to be there before deciding on a driver for We Own The Night.”

Smokin Bopper was impressive winning his heat on Sunday and, while the win was not a shock for Hurst, he admits the performance of the five-year- old since arriving from New Zealand late last year has been a bit surprising.

“He is in terrific form at the moment but he’s been going really well all season.

“He was a pretty cheap horse out of New Zealand and the owners just wanted a horse that was ready to go to the races but he has been getting better and better and has done a fantastic job.

“Bookmaker Mark Johnston and a few mates own him.

“Every time he races they make a day or a night out of it and they are good people to train for and because Smokin Bopper is only a C2 he has drawn better than Major Gambler which makes him the best chance for the stable.” 

Major Gambler has impressed Hurst since resuming and is relaxing more in his races.

“He’s had about six runs back from a long spell and I’m really happy with him.

“He hasn’t won a race this time in but he hasn’t been far away and he is not pulling as much as he used to while We Own The Night normally takes a few races to find his best and isn’t too far away either.”

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