11-year-old Kazoom eyeing back-to-back country cups at Hillston

Stacey Metcalfe and Kazoom are all smiles after winning the 2022 Outback Cup at Broken Hill Racecourse. Photo: Alexandra Stares Photography.

Nathan Hobson will travel to Hillston next Saturday April 9 with Kazoom set to contest the Hillston Cup. 

The 11-year-old is only a recent addition to Hobson’s team, but he was able to win the 1600m Broken Hill Outback Cup when on debut for the Swan Hill stable earlier this month.

Ridden by Stacey Metcalfe, the Pentire gelding was first-up following a five-week freshen-up, and just got the job done in the $27,000 feature, beating home the Con Kelly-trained End Of Day by 0.05 of a length. 

“I wasn’t really sure how he would go there first-up,” Hobson said. 

“I only just purchased the horse, and we knew him because he’s won at Broken Hill and we knew he would handle the surface.”

Connections are now eyeing up the Hillston Cup, with the 97-start veteran looking to win his 15th race in the 1700m feature event.

“The next target is the Hillston Cup,” Hobson said. 

“He is a pretty versatile horse, and he handles most surfaces and if he pulls up good, I expect him to line-up and run a good race.”

Hobson won’t be bringing a huge team to Hillston, but he hoped to have a few going around on the popular six-race-program. 

“I’m not sure how many I will take,” Hobson said. 

“We put a couple in the paddock after Broken Hill, but we will still look to bring three or four up.” 

The pandemic made it hard for Victorian country trainers to target Southern NSW meetings in 2020 and 2021 following border bans, and while it has been a relative return to normality in 2022, Hobson said he and others weren’t training as many genuine country horses now. 

“When you have a lower grade horse, it’s hard to place them in Victoria, and we missed those non-TABs in NSW while Covid was going around,” Hobson said. 

“We moved a lot of those horses on, which is why we won’t have as big a team at Hillston, but it is good to be back racing at them meetings, and we will definitely get a few more going in the spring and we will start to target those meetings.”

The Victorian trainer said his team enjoyed racing at Hillston, and he was looking forward to next Saturday. 

“It’s a good day out. Especially at those places that only race once a year,” Hobson said.  

“It’s a good fun day and we enjoy targeting those meetings and going to Hillston.”

Hillston Jockey Club President Mick Storrier was looking forward to welcoming Hobson and his team, along with other visiting trainers, and he explained the town of Hillston was gearing up for a big day at the races. 

“It should be good. We have a six-race-program, the gates open at 12pm and Hillston has been looking forward to an event like this,” Storrier said. 

“The crowd always dresses right up, so we have a couple of thousand dollars on offer for fashions on the field and it is the big social event for the town, and everyone likes to get along and get scrubbed up for the day.”

Along with racing and fashions, kids will also be looked after, making it a real family event. 

“We have a little kid’s corner, so it is a family day as well and they have their little area to play,” Storrier said. 

“We have got Interstate and local bookies, a full bar all day, gourmet catering and buses to and from town. 

“After the last race, we have live music for a couple of hours, and we will finish up at 7pm and then everyone heads to town.”

Readers wanting to find out more about the Hillston meeting can click here