LUKE Griffith kicks off his bid for his third successive country trainers’ premiership in four seasons with 10 runners at Tamworth today.
It is his first major assault on a country meeting in the new season since easily beating Albury’s Brett Cavanough to win the 2013-14 title.
Griffith had only one runner at Scone last Sunday as he took a few days off to recharge the batteries.
“It’s been a pretty busy 12 months and I have been to a lot of race meetings,” Griffith said.
“I put my car in for a service last week after covering more than 100,000 kilometres last season.
“I feel I know the inside of the car as well if not better than my own home.
“However, all the travel has been worthwhile and it’s an honour to win the title again.
“I am keen to make it three in a row and we kick it off with a big team at Tamworth then I am taking some horses over to Coffs Harbour for their carnival.
“I will have a couple of days over there on a sort of working holiday and that should help freshen me up a bit as well.”
One of Griffith’s interesting Tamworth runners is Mr Nicko, which runs in the Carlton Mid Winter Sprint and will be ridden by Robert Thompson.
Mr Nicko, a dual Newcastle winner, has had three starts since being switched to Griffith from suspended Newcastle trainer Darren Smith for a win at Gunnedah and sixths at Muswellbrook and Dubbo.
Both of his unplaced runs were on slow going and he will be better off with Tamworth rated a good 3.
Meanwhile, the Mark Mason-trained Hot Hit has been installed a short 6-4 favourite for today’s Winter Sprinter Open at Tamworth with Mr Nicko a 7-2 second elect.
o Sonro added the Forbes Cup to his Griffith trophy cabinet yesterday when he lunged on the line to knock out Greg Ryan and the John Marzol-trained Darryl in the $25,000 Forbes Cup 91600m.
The Gino D’Altorio-trained seven-year-old gelding son of Lonhro won the Parkes Cup back in May and followed up with a win in the Dubbo Mile before finishing fourth in Canberra and then a last start third to Grand Allowance in the Peacock Cup at
o Moonbi gelding Circle Of Fame has been penalised 2kg for his win at Port Macquarie last Friday.
The Ruth Cooper-trained gelding will now carry 59.5kg in tomorrow’s Ken Howard Cup at Coffs Harbour.