Kehoe believed he had the right horse to win the $100,000 race, with his seven-year-old proving too good in back-to-back wins over the 1400m at Newcastle late last month and earlier this month.
“I grew up in Coonamble and Dubbo. That’s where it all started, and I thought if I ever got a good one, I would go there and try and win the race,” Kehoe said.
“He (Lord Heron) is going good and it’s a winnable race, plus he is a lightweight and he’ll be right in it.”
The seven-year-old is a proven speedster and Kehoe believed his jockey, Jenny Duggan, would have no issues crossing with Lord Heron from a sometimes-sticky barrier 12.
“He likes to get out and roll. He races up on the speed and goes forward and with his gate speed he will get into a nice spot,” Kehoe said.
In a vote of confidence, Duggan will make the trip from Gosford for just one ride when hopping aboard Lord Heron and Kehoe said it helped that she knew the horse so well.
“She is down at Gosford, and she told me after she rode him the other day, ‘if he is going to Dubbo than I am going to Dubbo’,” Kehoe laughed.
“She knows the horse, which helps, and she was keen for the ride.”
The All Too Hard gelding does carry with him a handy resume leading into the 1600m race, winning five times from 19 starts, whilst running a placing in town and being touted as a Country Championships hopeful before getting injured last preparation.
“He was sent to me for the Country Championships, and he won by four lengths first up, and I ran second with him at Doomben but leading into the Championships, he got injured in the horse float,” Kehoe said.
“As soon as we put him out after that qualifier, the owners wanted to sell him, so we bought him, and he has come back sound and is living up to what we thought he was.”
The Dubbo Cup could be a steppingstone for Lord Heron into the new race, The Four Pillars, which is a $700,000 ticket-holder event scheduled to be held at Rosehill on October 30.
“If he can snag the Dubbo Cup, I will put him away and try and snag a slot in The Four Pillars,” Kehoe said.
“I think he would be a good chance in that race. We could freshen him up and have him right for that sort of race.”
Kehoe and Lord Heron won’t have it all their own way though with the 2021 Dubbo Cup field as strong as ever.
Forbes Cup winner From the Bush, Narromine Cup winner Wild Rocket, Dubbo Cup Prelude winner Heza Gentleman and a stack of other highly touted country horses will be major players in the rich race.
Gai Waterhouse will also send Regal Stage to Dubbo with the Sydney runner set to carry 64.5kg, while Scone-based duo William Freedman and Stephen Jones will have Cinquedea and Hit the Target contesting the race.
For full Dubbo fields, readers can click here.