Coonabarabran Cup tips, trials and tribulations

Coonabarabran Jockey Club will host a massive eight-race Showcase program on Sunday. Photo: Racing Photography.

It is shaping to be a massive Cup Day at Coonabarabran this Sunday, and of course, the feature is the Coonabarabran Cup over the 1600m, which is run under handicap conditions. 

As usual, the feature race is an open field with plenty of chances.

You would be a brave person to go against Peter Sinclair’s red-hot Aesop’s Fable, after she registered back-to-back wins in the Dubbo and Coonamble Cups.

She faces most of those rivals that she beat home in both cups in this race.

Again, connections suffer some bad luck with the barriers, drawing gate 15 of 16, but she had no issue last start in the same situation, plus Ashley Morgan (3:2-0-0) sticks with the Moree runner.

In saying all of that, I’m against her and I’m going to go down a different form line and put Kylie Kennedy’s Wild Rocket on top. 

She is in great form and last start, she hit the line strongly to run 3rd (beaten 2 lengths) over 1200m.

I like the rise back up to the mile (6:3-0-0) here and the start before, she was an impressive winner of the Narromine Cup (1.3 lengths).

I also like Peter Stanley’s, Not Negotiating, who registered a narrow win upon resumption last start, flying late to edge out Commando Hunt over 1400m. 

She is now up to the 1600m (5:1-2-0) and is second up (3:1-0-0), plus the booking of Ashleigh Stanley (2kg claimer) is a positive.

Fast Talking is racing well for Kody Nestor, placing in the Dubbo Cup (3rd, beaten 0.4 lengths) and Bathurst Cup (2nd, beaten 1.1 lengths) before taking on the 2,000m Port Macquarie Cup last start when battling home for 6th (beaten 3.9 lengths). He could bounce back, and he looks suited getting back down to the mile (8:1-0-2).

There are also a couple of on speed runners who look good each way plays if the track is favouring front runners.

Stephen Jones’, Hit The Target, is the likely leader and comes here third-up (5:2-0-0) off a couple solid runs.

Last start he was beaten 2.5 lengths in the Coonamble Cup and had to work early to cross.

Scott Singleton’s Rich And Shameless is a another front runner and is in good touch, winning once and placing twice in 5 starts. 

He finished a length 2nd last start in the Coonamble Cup after working to get over but he was run down in the last 100m, after having a dream run, I don’t think he can win here.

For the full Coonabarabran fields, readers can click here.

2020 Winner: Highly Desired ridden by Chad Lever and trained by Luke Hilton.

Coonabarabran tips

Race 1 – The Big Seal, Chart Topper

Race 2 – Mr Burgundy, Lipstick Lil

Race 3 – Akaka Falls, Ranuncula

Race 4 – Riders Inthe Stand, Benoni

Race 5 – Ishim, On A Promise

Race 6 – Classy Rebel, Partners

Race 7 – Wild Rocket, Not Negotiating

Race 8 – Vivenzo, Auvergne

A bit about Coonamble

About an hour and a half drive north of Dubbo lying on the divide of the Central West and North West slopes of NSW is the lovely country town of Coonabarabran, affectionally known as ‘Coona’ to the locals.

Thanks to the pristine air, high altitude (505m) and low humidity, Coona has developed a reputation as the ‘Astronomy Capital of Australia’ and there is plenty of observatories around town to take in the breathtaking sights.

Od note, the Siding Spring Observatory, home to Australia’s largest optical telescopes, is one to pay a visit too, especially in October to enjoy StarFest.

Coona also owns the nickname ‘Gateway to the Warrumbungles’ with the mountain range creating a stunning backdrop to the town’s west, north and east, which is a must to explore for any nature lovers.

But don’t worry it still has that classic country appeal, where you can have an icy cold drink and delicious feed at one of the main street pubs and chat with the friendly locals.