It shapes as a big weekend of harness racing for Leeton’s Grant Coelli.
On Friday night, his two-year-old Realnspectacular will take her first step towards what he hopes is a MIA Breeders Plate victory in the heats at Leeton.
Then no less than 24 hours later, his latest purchase, Jodan, will contest the $14,994 Temora Pacers Cup (2386m) on Saturday night.
Coelli went desperately close to winning his hometown feature, the MIA Breeders Plate, two years ago when Man Hands finished second, beaten a neck, behind Our Mach Jack.
He hopes her half sister, Realnspectacular, can go one better in this year’s series.
“Ever since she was broken in, she’s been a natural and this has been her aim since day one,” Coelli said.
“Everything’s gone perfectly for her and she’s cherry ripe.”
Realnspectactular is trained by Terry Coelli Snr, Grant’s grandfather, and will be driven by leading Riverina reinsman Blake Jones.
He races the filly with his uncle, Matt Coelli.
Realnspectacular has drawn gate four in the second Breeders Plate heat on Friday night, where only one of the six two-year-olds has race experience.
Coelli expects a bold showing from his filly.
“She hasn’t been overly extended in her trials. She’s never been off the bit,” he said.
“From the day she was broken in she’s always been an early going type and this is the race we’ve always wanted. Being a Leeton boy, I’ve been going to it since I was born.”
The first five from each heat on Friday night will qualify for the $30,000 final on January 25, a group three feature.
After the heat, Coelli’s attention will quickly turn to Temora, where Jodan, a winner of 17 races and $112,000 in prizemoney, will have his first start for the stable.
Coelli claimed the seven-year-old at his latest start, where he bolted in at Melton in a mile rate of 1:56.7 for the 2240m.
“I had been on the lookout for one for a while, made a few offers, looking for a country cups type of horse,” he said.
“Jodan popped up in a claimer six weeks ago and I watched him, and he won in 1:54 from the chair. I waited for him to come up in another claimer and went down and claimed him last week. It couldn’t come at a better time, a week leading up to Temora.
“I would have liked him a bit longer, to work out a bit more about him but he’s a beautiful little horse, a real professional and whatever he does on Saturday he’ll improve on.”
Jones will also take the drive at Temora, where Jodan has drawn the inside of the second row.