Nathan Xuereb maybe about to see a lifetime dream become reality when he takes the reins behind Redbelly Jack in the $25,000 Prydes Easifeed Golden Guitar final at Tamworth Paceway on Thursday night.
Xuereb has been coming to Tamworth since he was a youngster, travelling here with his grandfather and his father Michael.
“I have had other runners in the heats before of the Golden Guitar and never been successful but this year is looking good – we have the right horse to do it with,” Xeureb said after Redbelly Jack’s heat win to qualify for the final.
Redbelly Jack made his way into the final after taking out the fifth Golden Guitar heat last Sunday at Tamworth, with the gelding trained by Michael Xeureb at Londonderry and raced by Nathan’s mother Dianne.
“The plan was to get to the lead,” Nathan Xuereb said.
“Dean [Chapple] was always going to hand up as he was having a bit of trouble with his horse but I finally got there and got away with an easy first quarter.”
Leading the field, the four-year-old Rock N Roll-Jackpot Girl gelding set the race tempo out in the lead with the quarters covered in 31.4 seconds (first), 30.5sec (second), 28.1sec (third) and 31.3sec (fourth). The mile rate was 1min.58.8sec for 1980 metres.
“He needed a run. He hasn’t had a run for a few weeks,” Xuereb said.
Redbelly Jack came into the fifth heat off a last-start third to Eliza Dushku on December 15 at Bathurst.
“He did it well tonight [Sunday] and should be right for the final,” Xuereb said. “He can come off the speed quite well. He is a versatile horse.”
Redbelly Jack had a 3.9m win over Alta Surreal (Brad Elder), with Coralie Joy (Richard Williams) another metre away in third.
“It’s only onwards and upwards from here with him,” Xuereb said.
“I would be pretty happy if I won the final. I have been coming up here to Tamworth since I was eight years old and to win one of these finals it is something to look forward to.”
Redbelly Jack has drawn barrier nine in the $25,000 final.
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