Cambridge Raceway’s meeting on Thursday will prove to be a nail-biting experience for a few owners and trainers.
The night will finalise the winner of the 2020 Dunstan Horsefeeds Cambridge Horse of the Year competition and there remain nine horses in contention for top honours.
Competition leader Lovely Bundy is the only horse of the nine contenders who will not be lining up on Thursday and Cambridge Raceway chief executive Dave Branch is excited about the large number of horses still in contention.
“It is fantastic that the Dunstan Horsefeeds Horse of the Year competition has come down to the wire,” Branch said.
“With the unique points structure there remain a number of horses that could still take out the competition on the final night of racing at Cambridge Raceway this season.”
The horse with the most points after Thursday’s meeting will earn their owners $4,000, while the trainer will receive $3,000 in product prizes.
The trainers of the second and third-placed horses in the competition will receive a $2,000 and $1,000 product prize respectively.
“Dunstan have been a great backer of Cambridge Raceway and I would like to thank them for their continued support and putting up such a great prize,” Branch said.
While Lovely Bundy hasn’t raced since January 26, she still holds a two point lead over local trotter Lukyanova and trainer-driver Kyle Marshall is hopeful she can perform up to expectations in the Melanie, 60, What!? Handicap Trot (2200m).
“It is a great competition and hopefully she can perform well on Thursday,” Marshall said. “Thanks to Dunstan for sponsoring it.”
It will be the third run this preparation for Lukyanova and Marshall is pleased with the way she has been progressing, placing over 2700m at Cambridge Raceway last start after an unplaced first-up run.
“Fitness has played a part in her first couple of runs,” Marshall said. “She trialled well on Saturday and she seems a lot fitter this week.”
Marshall is confident of a good showing from the mare on Thursday where she will start from behind the 15m mark.
“It’s (the draw) not bad over 2200m if she steps away well,” he said. “If she gets handy and gets a good run she will be right in the finish.
“She is best driven with a sit, so hopefully we get a good run.”
Lukyanova will have her work cut out for her though, with the field containing a number of major threats, including Gr.2 NSW Trotting Derby (2400m) winner Xebec.
The Benjamin Aubron-owned and trained gelding beat Lukyanova home last start and he too is in with a chance of taking out the Cambridge Horse Of The Year title, jointly with Lovely Bundy, if he is victorious from his 35m handicap.
Other competition contenders racing on Thursday night include Our Spitfire (Race 8), American Me (Race 9), J Bee (Race 5), Still Eyre (Race 8), Texas Tiger (Race 9), and Presidential Jewel (Race 8). – Cambridge Raceway