WAGGA trainer Trevor Sutherland is confident prior experience on the track will be a major advantage to Aribaa in Friday’s Verandah Town Cup (1400m) at Lockhart.
Sutherland will return to Lockhart to defend his crown after he prepared Rite Of Honour to an upset victory in last year’s feature race.
Aribaa was sent out a $3.60 chance in last year’s Lockhart Cup and was beaten a head by stablemate Rite Of Honour as part of Sutherland’s two-pronged attack on the race.
Sutherland is confident that last year’s experience will hold him in good stead for this year’s $6500 feature race.
“I can’t see any reason why he couldn’t win,” Sutherland said.
“Last year he was pipped at the post by the old bloke.
“He handled the track good so there is no reason why not.
“A lot of these horses are going there for the first time, at least we know he can handle the track.”
The Lockhart track is only used once a year and is a tight-turning circuit that usually advantages those horses close to the speed.
Aribaa is the only runner in the eight-horse Cup field that has raced at Lockhart before.
“It’s a special track,” Sutherland said.
“Unless you’ve been around it, you don’t know if they will handle it there.”
The Brian Cox-trained Bringenbrong will start as one of the fancies but has to carry 70 kilograms, after Amber Comb’s claim, first-up.
He has class on his side, having been competitive in Albury and Kilmore Cups last preparation.
Sutherland believes the top weight can be beaten.
“It’s a pretty even race, Bringenbrong is the quality horse in the race but he’s got a big weight to carry around a tight turning track,” he said.
Sutherland has horses in each of the six races.
He rates maiden gallopers Effigy and Bunwina as the best of his chances.
“Effigy is drawn well, he drew bad and had a funny start the other day at Wagga,” he said.
“Bunwina should go well, he doesn’t handle the wet.
“Our True Matriarch is going super and I don’t think I’ve had a horse look better.”
Sutherland said he loves supporting meetings like Lockhart.
“If you don’t support these places they die out,” he said.
“They’re great communities to support.”
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