GUNNEDAH gallopers will make the trek west today for a three-pronged attack on the $8000 Benchmark 59 Lightning Ridge Cup (1200m).
Spread across the eight-strong field in the feature will be the Gavin Groth-trained Darkness (Kacie Chater), Joe Craig’s Lucidly (Catherine Markwort) and the Graham Shields-trained Segovian, to be ridden by apprentice jockey Eleanor Webster-Hawes.
While Darkness and Lucidly will be having their first look at the once-a-year bush track at The Ridge, Segovian can boast victory in his only start there.
Two years ago he won the 1200m Benchmark 45 handicap by a handy two-and-a-half lengths.
Today the nine-year-old will face the starter in his third back from a short spell - resuming with a handy fourth in Tamworth 1000m BM 50 before trailing second-last to the Jane Clement-trained White Stockings in the 1200m Narrabri Cup a fortnight ago.
Lucidly though is up to the task, according to his trainer.
“He’s working well, and I think he’s gotta be a chance on his last couple,” Joe Craig said.
The 10-year-old, a winner of eight races, will be having his fifth outing for the Craig stable today.
“I’ve only given him four starts and haven’t been disappointed with him at all,” Craig said of the gelding he races with Tamworth Jockey Club president Tim Coates.
Resuming from an 11-month spell, Lucidly was beaten only two-and-a-half lengths into sixth behind Valcot in 1000m BM 70 company on Walcha Cup day back in February.
Then after a third placing over 1000m at Tottenham in picnic company, Craig took him to Dubbo.
“That was a good effort, he only just got beaten (by a neck in 1200m BM 55 company). And he’ll carry two kilos less on Saturday, so should appreciate the drop in weight.
“If he can improve just a bit on his Dubbo run, then he should go very close.”
Another good chance at a cheque is Gavin Groth’s Darkness.
He’ll be looking to improve on his resuming seventh in the recent 1200m Narrabri Cup.
Prior to spelling, he pulled in three wins, a second and three fourth placings from eight starts.