Talented mare Levee Bank could give connections 80,000 reasons to celebrate second chances when she steps out in the SDRA Country Championships Qualifier (1400m) at Albury on Sunday.
Only a frantic effort to prove she’d been stabled with trainer Kerry Weir since before the September cut-off date saw Levee Bank reinstated for the $150,000 race in which she’ll start second favourite.
”That was the longest day of my life, I was nearly crying,” Weir said.
“I actually rang my owners and told them we’re not in, and knocked it on the head.”
Weir said a delay in paperwork over the transfer of the horse to his stable had been out of his hands. One of his owners convinced him they had to take it up with Racing NSW.
“It took me four-and-a-half hours to sort it out. I knew we had farriers bills and transport bills and everything but I had to find all the paperwork,” he said.
Levee Bank was a dominant winner of the Championships Preview at Wagga early last week after crossing from a wide gate to lead.
With a new understanding of the old cliché ‘you’ve got to be in it to win it’, Weir said he’ll work out how they approach the race with jockey Megan Taylor on Saturday.
Levee Bank ($5) has drawn barrier 11, but is inside the Geoff Duryea-trained favourite Challenge Accepted ($4.20) and the other ‘second chance’ runner, Dave Heywood’s Man Of Peace ($8).
“We’ll sit down and watch the replays of all the runners and form a plan,” Weir said.
“She’s come from last to win and she’s led to win. Her query is the first try at the 1400 but she got the 1300 okay at Wagga, she was going away from the end at the end, so that’s good.”
Levee Bank has had three wins for Weir and Taylor and the owners have shown faith in the apprentice jockey by keeping her on in the non-claiming race.
“Yeah the owners said she’d ride after she won. She’s only been out of a place once and probably only had one bad run on her (for a second at Wagga),” Weir said.
Wagga trainer Chris Heywood is supplying five of the 16 runners, with Fermanagh Lad ($9.50) his top chance in the market, ahead of Hussons Shout ($17), Lighthouse ($21), Class Clown ($26) and Delivered ($101).
As well as the prizemoney on offer, the first two horses home at Albury earn a trip to Randwick for the Country Championships Final on April 1.