ALBURY trainer Donna Scott is set to target the $200,000 Wagga Town Plate (1200m) with last-start Flemington winner Lord Von Costa.
Scott admitted she was still 'on cloud nine' this week after enjoying her first city success when Lord Von Costa won at Flemington on Saturday.
The Albury sprinter became the third Southern District horse to snare a city victory this season when he took out the $125,000 Benchmark 84 Handicap (1200m) as a $26 chance.
It was an emotional win for connections with it not only being Scott's first metropolitan winner but it also continued a brilliant comeback from the seven-year-old.
Lord Von Costa has been sidelined twice with tendon injuries but has returned, amassing more than $300,000 in career earnings with three wins and 10 placings from 22 starts.
The $1.3 million Kosciuszko will be the long-term goal for Lord Von Costa but Scott will target the Town Plate on April 30 first.
"The Kosciuszko, that's what our target is going to be but it's still a fair way off so we've got be mindful of that," Scott explained.
"You've still got to get a slot, have him up and about closer to the race so what we think we'll do at this stage is put him in the paddock and target the Wagga Town Plate."
Scott said the increase in prizemoney to $200,000 for the Town Plate made it too hard to resist.
"To race for that sort of money and only have to travel an hour and a half is pretty good," she said.
"Hopefully that will put his name up there a bit closer to the Kosciuszko as well."
Lord Von Costa ran second behind Santa Ana Lane in the 2017 Wagga Town Plate.
WAGGA trainer Chris Heywood is set to test promising three-year-old Blitzar out at Randwick on Saturday.
Heywood has accepted with Blitzar in the $75,000 TAB Highway Class Two Handicap (1100m), but he is also in the nominations for Forbes on the same day, as well as Wagga on Sunday.
He is leaning towards Randwick and has booked Tommy Berry to ride. Racing NSW decided to split the Highway on Saturday and Blitzar has drawn barrier four in the second of the two country features.
Blitzar will need to turn the tables on the Luke Pepper-trained Affinity Beyond, who was a dominant winner at Wagga last start in slick time.
ONE of Mitch Beer's top seeds for the Country Championships returned at Canterbury on Wednesday.
Logan River ran last in the $50,000 Benchmark 70 Handicap (1100m) at Canterbury and was beaten 10 lengths.
He is expected to have one final hit-out at Sapphire Coast on February 2 before going into the SDRA Country Championships Qualifier (1400m) third-up.
After initially hoping to have as many as nine run in the race, Beer is still aiming five horses towards the $150,000 feature at Albury on February 22. Princess Cordelia, Jawwaal and Sky Call are among those.
Meantime, two of Beer's imports, Perfect Illusion and Hanger, are down to trial at Canberra on Friday.
A NUMBER of Country Championships hopefuls again trialled at Wagga on Tuesday.
The Trevor Sutherland-trained Real Key won his second consecutive trial, from the likes of Thistledo, Let's Get Animal, The Chaplain and Tully Toff.
Wayne Carroll's contender Rock 'N' Roller will resume at Canberra on Friday.
TOP Corowa mare News Girl will step out at Caulfield on Saturday.
News Girl will start one of the main chances in the $125,000 Benchmark 84 F&M Handicap (1100m). She is drawn barrier 10 and Lewis German has the ride. His three kilogram claim will help the mare carry just 53kg.
In the same race is former SDRA Horse of the Year, O' So Hazy.
TUMBARUMBA Turf Club is continuing their preparations for its annual Cup meeting on Saturday week.
SDRA chief steward Jason Schulz inspected the track last week and was pleasantly surprised by the condition of the course after bushfires threatened in recent weeks.
Tumut trainer Kerry Weir said it is imperative to support clubs like Tumbarumba after the recent tough times with the bushfires.
Weir said Tumut Turf Club had already organised a couple of busloads to attend the Tumbarumba Cup in support of the club and the wider community.
Weir encouraged other members of the racing community to support Tumbarumba Turf Club at their only meeting.
Sunday: Wagga (TAB)
Friday: Leeton (TAB)
Sunday: Junee (TAB)
Sunday: Temora (non-TAB)