Local trainer Arna Donnelly will take her biggest ever contingent to a race meeting when she heads to Cambridge Raceway on Saturday.
She will be represented by 12 of her own runners, but will also line-up debutant Jack Irish for trainers Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan, with the Clevedon-based duo unable to make it to the meeting as a result of COVID-19 Level 3 restrictions in Auckland.
While it will prove a busy day for Donnelly, she said she will be ably assisted by a handful of helpers.
“I may have had nine or 10 at the grass tracks a couple of years ago, but 12 would definitely be the biggest team I have taken to the races,” she said.
“I have got fantastic staff, there will be six or seven there on Saturday to help us.”
Leading the stable charge, last start winner Young Conqueror will be looking to keep his solid form line intact this preparation when he contests the Dunstan Speedfeed Mobile Pace (2200m).
The seven-year-old finished runner-up first-up at the Waikato track last month before going on to win over 2200m.
Stable junior driver Alicia Harrison will take the reins on Saturday and Donnelly said they will face a stiff challenge after drawing the outside of the front row.
“Young Conqueror has drawn out wide, so he is going to need a bit of luck,” she said. “But he has been racing really well. He slides into that race quite good. He is a pretty honest old fella so he should be there at the finish.”
Donnelly also fancies the chances of last start winner Wildestdreams in the Alabar World Class Sires Mobile Pace (2200m).
“I quite like Wildestdreams,” she said. “She has drawn one the second row, but an ounce of luck she should be right in the mix.
“It was a really good win last start and Alicia (Harrison) is driving her again on Saturday, so hopefully she can double up.”
Donnelly was also buoyed by the latest trial performances of Sky Full Of Stars, The Banker, and debutant Kango.
“Sky Full Of Stars trialled really well, but whatever she does she will definitely benefit from,” Donnelly said.
“We just want to see her go around, do things right, and be running on at the end.
“The Banker trialled really well at Pukekohe a week ago. He got it right last start too, so his confidence levels are right up there and his work has been spot on, so fingers-crossed he will be in the mix.
“Kango also trialled really well at Cambridge last week and from barrier 10 hopefully he can get handy and keep rolling.” - Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk