“I haven’t driven at Inverell for a few years,” was the word from Tamworth trainer and reinsman Neil Kliendienst.
Sunday afternoon will see Kliendienst head north to contest the Inverell Harness Racing Club’s Carnival of Cups meeting with his two stable runners - last-start winner Rolamax and Storm Blaster.
After a 14-year absence from the sport Kliendienst decided it was time to renew his trainer's licence late last year and followed that up with recently renewing his reinsman licence.
Kliendienst has lost none of his skills after both training and driving Rolamax to an all-the-way win at Tamworth last meeting.
“I was very happy - very excited with the win. It made up for all those years away,” he said. “It was a good feeling. I just wanted to get home and have a beer.”
Prior to his return to the sport, Kliendienst drove his last winner, Sam Sebastian, in October 2004 at Tamworth, and he had no problem in picking up where he left off. His April 7, 2019 win behind Rolamax at Tamworth was only his second drive back.
“I had my first drive back at Newcastle," he said. "I had plenty of room to move about down there."
On April 7, Rolamax and Kliendienst took out the Thrifty Car and Truck Rental Tamworth Pace by 2.6 metres over Tepary (Emma Ison), with Jax Tellar (David Munsie) another 2.8m away in third place.
“It was a good win - I knew I had it at the 400m mark as he was still travelling nicely,” Kliendienst said.
For Sunday, Rolamax has drawn the seven barrier in the feature race of the day - the $10,000 TABCORP Carnival Of Cups Pace.
“Hopefully the one horse (Cronin) goes out and I get a nice trail into the race," Kliendienst said. "It is a good race and anything could win it but I do think Cronin is the horse to beat.”
There will be five last-start winners competing on the eight-race program at Inverell.