Wagga trainer Gary Colvin says Forever Newyork has shown enough to warrant a shot at the $150,000 SDRA Country Championships Qualifier (1400m) at his first start this year.
The three-year-old is Colvin’s first runner in the event which earns the first two placegetters a spot in the Country Championships Final at Randwick on April 1.
Colvin said Forever Newyork was originally being aimed at next week's Albury Guineas but will now have just his seventh start against the older horses at the same venue this Sunday.
“He’s had a couple of jump-outs and we like what we’ve seen,” Colvin said.
“He’s pretty forward... I think he’s improved since his last campaign. He’s a three-year-old on the way up and we thought we’d give him a crack.”
Forever Newyork won twice at Wagga last preparation but hasn't raced since December, when nabbed on the line by Kiss In The Dark in a class three 1600m event.
“I don’t think the mile was the worry, but he over-raced,” Colvin said. “He was immature, so we brought him back in and he seems to have matured a lot.”
At $6, Forever Newyork is on the second line of betting with Levee Bank. The Corowa-trained Challenge Accepted ($4.60) deserves favouritism, Colvin said.
“Oh yeah,” he said. “But don’t worry there’s a couple: Dave (Heywood’s) horse Man Of Peace and Kerry Weir’s (Levee Bank). They’re the three that really stand out but you go past them and I think we’re all on a par.”
Forever Newyork has drawn barrier eight, inside that trio. Colvin hopes the leaders will have to work hard, and jockey Brendan Ward can slot the gelding in midfield with cover.