This Sunday the Bathurst Thoroughbred Racing Club will host a fantastic eight-race card with the headliners being the 1800m Bathurst Cup (40k) and one of the premier country sprint races, the 1300m The Panorama (80k), the ideal lead up and audition for Kosciuszko contenders and hopefuls.
The Cup jumps at 4:47pm with a handful of runners coming out of the Dubbo Cup, including favourite From The Bush, who battled on for fifth that day.
Bathurst trainer Gayna Williams does have her five-year-old in career best form, winning a Highway Class 3 and the Forbes Cup in back-to-back starts and will take some running down on speed and with home track advantage.
Kody Nestor’s Fast Talking hung on for third after a good run outside the leader in the Dubbo Cup but won’t get that here drawing 12 of 14, and with the predicted solid speed, therefore I cannot have him.
The one I want to follow out of the Dubbo Cup is Michael Mulholland’s Reward Seeker, which weaved through and hit the line strongly last start for a neck second for the ‘Cup King’.
I like Jake Pracey-Holmes sticking aboard as well but they will need luck drawing gate 2.
Mulholland also saddles up Jahbath, which won well on Dubbo Cup Day over the mile.
The Wellington runner steps up in class and could sneak into the placings.
Shadow Girl kept finding over the 1800m last start for a half a length win when second-up in what is her first prep with Garry White.
The four-year-old boasts strong form ties last campaign, running 2.4L off the handy Harpo Marx over 2000m and is a definite danger.
Tips: Reward Seeker, Shadow Girl, From The Bush.
2020 Winner: Pecuniary Interest ridden by Ellen Hennessy and trained by Nick Olive.
The Panorama jumps at 5.22pm and will see a number of horses and trainers looking for a strong performance to catapult themselves into The Kosciuszko calculations.
Emergencies Philipsburg (James Ponsonby) and Commando Hunt (Cameron Crockett) will be hoping for a couple scratchings otherwise they won’t start.
Both are dropping back from Highway company, where they won a race apiece.
Spiranac finished four lengths back in the Country Champs final before spelling and resumed in a Mares Benchmark 78 race running 3.4L off of the eventual winner, and Rodney Northam hopes she can rediscover her form from the Hunter and North West Racing Association qualifier.
Matthew Dale will be hoping Man of Peace can impress and secure another chance at The Kosciuszko after running third in the $1.3 million race last year.
The Canberra runner hasn’t placed since then but has been racing in tough company, finishing 3.3 lengths off Gytrash, 5.1 lengths off Chat and last start contesting the Group 2 Tramway (7.4 lengths) behind Zaaki.
If Clint Lundholm’s Notabadidea can get a run as an emergency, the six-year-old could offer great place value with no weight on his back. He won narrowly last start but there was a two-length gap to third.
Tips: Spiranac, Philipsburg, Notabadidea
2020 Winner: The Doctor’s Son ridden by Blaike McDougall and trained by John Whitelaw
A bit about Bathurst
For those punters and racing fans wanting to know a little more about Bathurst, the town is only two hours west of Penrith on the Central Tablelands is Bathurst, often referred to as “Gold Country” because it’s the site of the first gold discovery and where the first gold rush occurred in Australia.
Bathurst is the oldest inland settlement and today the city is an important service centre for the region and an academic centre with a number of well-known schools, Charles Sturt University being one.
But it’s also a fantastic town to explore for visitors and tourists and is synonymous with motor sports through Mount Panorama a famous circuit which hosts the Bathurst 12 Hour motor race in February, Bathurst Motor Festival every Easter and of course the Bathurst 1,000 each October.
However, Bathurst isn’t all about cars with numerous museums such as the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum, nature reserves, parks and a variety of sporting facilities to enjoy.
Or even make the trip to one of the number of lovely restaurants, cafes and pubs like the Church Bar & Woodfired Pizza, Vine And Tap, Oxford Hotel among others.
Also, a little something for the wine lovers with Bathurst hosting the Winter Winery Wander and National Cool Climate Wine Show in June and October respectively.