IT IS the one race on the calendar that Trevor Rutland wants to win more than anything and come Tuesday night at Riverina Paceway, it will carry more meaning than ever before.
The Rebecca Rutland Memorial has been the first race marked on the calendar for Trevor ever since his daughter's tragic passing in 2009.
His win in the race in 2018, courtesy of Sofire Girl, remains one of his most memorable moments in his time in the sport.
But on Tuesday night at Riverina Paceway, the race will be run as the Judith & Rebecca Rutland Memorial (1740m) for the first time.
It comes after Trevor's wife Judith passed away in June last year after a long battle with cancer.
Trevor is glad he could get Sokys Falcon into the race.
"I try to have one every year but I've been struggling with the horses the last few years," Trevor said.
"Once Bec passed away, we both really struggled and then Jude got sick five years ago and so everything went on the backburner and we just poked along with a couple.
"I won't work any more than three or four. That's about it. It's not much fun by yourself. My grandson comes out every now and again and drives one for me, but it's not the same. They've got other things on, they're not really right into the horses and I don't expect them to be. They come out and help whenever I need help but it's not the same.
"It was three of us once, Bec, Jude and I, and we all loved the same thing. We all had A grade licences and come up with one every now and again that was alright. You had a lot of fun. It's a bit hard to have a bit of fun now but it keeps me going."
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Sokys Falcon is not expected to be hard in the market of Tuesday night's event but regardless of the result, it still means the world to the Rutland family.
"I did win it once, a couple of years ago, when Bruce (Harpley) drove the horse and that was the biggest thrill going. Everyone involved was overwhelmed," Trevor said.
"It's become a real family thing to at least be there and celebrate what we remember."
Sokys Falcon has only had one start back from a break when fifth behind the in-form Hard To Love at Wagga on January 21.
Trevor will be in the driver's seat on Tuesday night as Sokys Falcon looks to get the job done from barrier six.
He is happy with the horse but recognises he will need luck, or perhaps some help from up above.
"I expect him to run in the first three but he's no world beater. Second up, drawn a little bit wide, if he was in a bit closer I'd be a lot happier but you've got to be realistic," Trevor said.
"If they haven't got the potential to be good horses, you're on the whim of draws and a bit of luck.
"He's getting pretty close (to full fitness). I reckon he's probably 80 per cent there. If he gets a nice run, he's got to be right in it."
It is Wagga Harness Racing Club's memorial night on Tuesday with races also named in honour of the late John Brasier, Ian Walsh, Don Alchin, Gordon McRae, Don Inwood and Robbie Jack.
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