With the final worth $1 million in 2024, trainers from all over NSW are preparing their charges, and Colvin has another contender in the form of Dupride Star.
The Wagga galloper contested the 1175m Southern Districts qualifier prelude Class Four Handicap at Albury on Thursday and held on for a very tough victory with Danny Beasley in the saddle.
After jumping well from gate four, Beasley elected to take a sit just off the pace before Dupride Star ($3.70) powered to the front on the Albury straight and held on by a flared nostril from the Ron Stubbs-trained Baledon (Jason Lyon, $2.45) while in third and two and a half lengths back was the Craig Weeding-trained No Quarantine (Jake Duffy, $4.40).
“She had a nice run and will improve on that,” Colvin told NSW Country and Picnic Racing.
“She was a bit underdone, and the plan is to have a crack at the Country Championships. Hopefully, she will improve a bit more ahead of the qualifier.”
The Albury qualifier will be the second cab off the rank when run on Sunday, February 18, and Colvin believes the four-time winner will run out 1400m.
“If you can get a sit on her, she can sprint, and the other horse nearly caught her, but she’s only going to get fitter off that run,” Colvin said.
“She is by Pride of Dubai, and we haven’t really tried her over 1400m too many times, but she is a fresh horse that gets out and wants to get going.
“Danny did a great job and got her to get in behind and settled, and that’s what you need to do to win with her over 1400m, so we might have worked her out.
“She has a solid sprint at the end, and when the Country Champs come around in a couple of weeks, we’ll try and give her a nice run in behind them.
Stablemate Kappy’s Angel could join Dupride Star in the qualifier.
Still, Colvin said the three-time would need to put a reasonable effort in when taking on the 1300m Class Four Southern Districts Country Championships prelude at Wagga on Thursday.
“I just don’t know if she will be ready to go,” Colvin said.
“I’d like her there, and she has a bit of ability, but she’s had a few issues; she’s back now and doing well, and it will all depend on how she goes at Wagga.”
In more good news, stable star Another One is back in work following a short freshen-up.
The six-year-old broke the $1 million prize money barrier during his last preparation when he won the $100,000 Wodonga Cup on November 24.
The win at Wodonga means Another One is equal fourth on the Victorian Country Cups leaderboard, giving Colvin options later this year ahead of the $500,000 final that will be run at Caulfield on November 26.
“He’s back in work and just going well,” Colvin said.
“We were going to aim for the Albury Cup, but that race might be a bit soon, so we’ll aim for the National Sprint and find another race or two before heading to the Wagga Cup.
“That is the big race, but I’ve got to make a decision as he is qualified for the Victorian Country Cups final.”
It shapes as a busy time for Colvin, who has six gallopers entered for Wagga’s meeting on Thursday.