NICK Heywood will hop back aboard Fermanagh Lad under race conditions for the first time in more than 18 months at Murrumbidgee Turf Club on Saturday.
Fermanagh Lad will lead a two-pronged attack for Wagga trainer Chris Heywood in the $12,000 Kurrajong Cup (1200m), the feature of Saturday's meeting on the Riverside circuit.
Fermanagh Lad will be looking to breakthrough for his first win since the 2019 Wagga Town Plate Prelude, while Heywood's other representative, Not Too Sure, will have his first run since that same race more than 12 months ago.
The feature has attracted a strong field for a $12,000 race and Heywood believes Fermanagh Lad goes into the race in good order.
"It's hard to knock Fermanagh Lad's form," Heywood said.
"His run the other day at Parkes was super and his two runs prior to that were super as well."
Fermanagh Lad ran second in this year's edition of the Wagga Town Plate Prelude, then ran second again in the Benchmark 66 Handicap (1200m) on Wagga Gold Cup day.
He ran fourth in the Parkes Satellite (1200m) last start.
Nick Heywood takes the ride on Fermanagh Lad for the first time since October, 2018.
"It's been a while since Nick has ridden him, and it's been a while since he's won so hopefully we have a change of luck," he said.
"Nick's been riding him work and thinks he's feeling terrific so we're hoping he runs well again."
Richard Bensley takes the ride on Not Too Sure and Heywood is not expecting miracles first-up.
"The old fella trialled enormous the other day," he said.
"He's had 12 months off so while I expect him to run well, I'm not expecting the world from him.
"It's a strong enough race, nothing is a gimme, there's no such thing as that anymore. You've got to work hard at it but I'm happy enough with my two."
Heywood will also be represented by Simply Skilful in the Hildasid Farm Maiden Handicap (1050m).
"She trialled good the other day. She's a progressive filly," he said.
"She probably wants a few runs under her belt but she's a nice type of filly."