“It would be great to have back-to-back wins. And I don’t know if anyone has won it two years in a row but to do that would be an absolute thrill.”
That was how Sydney reinsman Nathan Xuereb summed up his desire ahead of contesting two heats of the five-heat Golden Guitar at Tamworth on Sunday evening as part of a 10-race meeting.
Xuereb is returning with last year’s Golden Guitar winner, Redbelly Jack, who is trained by his father Michael, to contest the fourth heat – in the hope of securing a berth in the Listed Classic $25,000 Hygain Golden Guitar final.
Fifty horses will be fighting it out on Sunday for their chance to contest the final on Thursday night, with that field comprising 10 runners.
“I think he has drawn in a lot tougher heat than what he was in last year,” Xuereb said of Redbelly Jack.
Redbelly Jack has drawn the 10 barrier in the Furney’s Stock Feeds Tamworth Golden Guitar Heat 4.
“It’s not the best draw but he drew the back line in the final last year and came out and won it,” Xuereb said.
In a thrilling finish to the 2018 Golden Guitar final, Redbelly Jack had a short-half-head win over Bathurst pacer Tulhurst Santanna (Angela Hedges).
High Rolling (Jack Trainor) was a head away in third place.
The mile rate was 1min 58.5sec for the 1980 metre distance.
“Looking at his race on Sunday, on paper it will be a speed race,
“But he will be thereabouts at the finish,” Xuereb said of Redbelly Jack.
It is a great family affair, as Redbelly Jack is raced by Dianne Xuereb, wife of Michael and mother of Nathan.
Nathan Xuereb will also take a drive in the Pursehouse Rural Tamworth Golden Guitar Heat 2 on Sunday.
He will steer Seeuinnashville, for Sydney trainer Craig Cross, from the five barrier.
Seeuinnashville will be facing career start 20 and recently contested the Maitland Inter City Pace.
In that race Seeuinnashville finished second to Persimmon from the Kevin Pizzuto stables.
“He was unlucky in the Maitland Inter City Pace Final – he got shuffled back in the field and came home well.
“I think he will be hard to beat with his draw,” Xuereb said.
On Sunday Xuereb will also drive behind Sam’s Cam in the TAB Carnival of Cups Race Meeting Thursday 24 January Pace.
Meanwhile, Wyalong trainer Rodney Lemon will be making his maiden journey to the Tamworth racing carnival, with two runners.
They are Alabama Tyson and Alabama Ace. “It is a good series - especially this year with it being only for Australian-bred horses,” Lemon said.