Dubbo galloper ready to entertain in Wagga Town Plate

Jake Pracey-Holmes will ride the Clint Lundholm-trained Listen To The Band in today’s Wagga Town Plate.
Photo: Racing Photography.

Popular Western Districts galloper Listen To The Band will look to play his rivals a winning tune at Wagga on Thursday. 

Trained by Clint Lundholm, Jake Pracey-Holmes will trek from Gulgong to Wagga for just one ride when jumping aboard the Dubbo-trained nine-year-old in the $200,000 Wagga Town Plate (1200m)

A lightly raced five-time winner plagued by injuries during his career, Listen To The Band had the racing world on notice when winning five from six during a sensational stretch of results in late 2022 and early 2023. 

He went on to win the $150,000 Western Districts Country Championships qualifier at Coonamble in March 2023, but injury ruled him out of the $500,000 final, which the Bett Robb-trained Sizzle Minizzle won. 

After a year away from racing, Listen To The Band was gallant when running third, beaten a half-head by Elson Boy in the 2024 Western Districts qualifier in March.

Injury then felled Elson Boy’s charge toward the $1 million final, held at Royal Randwick on April 6, and Listen To The Band gained a start.

Pracey-Holmes was in the saddle, and the pair were caught wide from gate 12. While they tracked up to be running fourth turning for home, the Dubbo galloper faded to finish 11th of 16, beaten nearly eight lengths by eventual winner Asgarda. 

“We knew he could run out a strong 1400m, and we wanted to take a sit and not get caught deep, but it didn’t work out for us,” Pracey-Holmes told NSW Country and Picnic Racing

At Wagga, Listen To The Band runs into a cracking field, headlined by Asgarda (Kayla Nisbet, $4.40), along with the David Pfieffer-trained Rocketing By (Rachel King, $5), the Matthew Dale-trained Gravina (Tommy berry, $5.50), and the Donna Scott-trained Our Last Cash (Blaike McDougall, $6.50). 

Connections have drawn gate two with the $41 chance after gaining a start as an emergency, and Pracey-Holmes said their rivals would know they are in a race. 

“I am going to make my intentions known,” Pracey-Holmes said. 

“The Wagga Town Plate is always a strong race, but we’re dropping back to 1200m, and we’re four or five weeks between runs, so he’ll be freshened up for it.”

When asked if Listen To The Band was ready to win at Wagga, Pracey-Holmes believes he can figure in the finish. 

“If I can find the front on him and we get a bit of a breather, I think he will be right there at the finish,” he said.

Pracey-Holmes will trek across to Wagga with co-owner John Cover, and they’ve already discussed where they will put the winning photo if Listen To The Band triumphs.

“I’ll go over with Johnny, who runs the Court House Hotel in Mudgee,” Pracey-Holmes said. 

“I was there the other day, and I was looking at the photo of us and Listen To The Band. I asked Johnny where we would put the Town Plate photo if we won, and he said he’d find a spot.”

It’s set to be a massive day for Wagga, with the Murrumbidgee Turf Club hosting day one of their two-day Wagga Gold Cup carnival. 

Jeff Hanson’s tips

Race 1: Due Calzini – $12

Race 2: Jellignite – $15

Race 3: Adolphus – $2

Race 4: Neto – $4.40

Race 5: Poker Dice – $9

Race 6: Imasuperstar – $3.60

Race 7: Gravina – $5

Race 8: Gold Tracker – $9