Dubbo trainer’s maiden a super chance at Coonamble

Dubbo trainer Clint Lundholm. Image – Grant Guy

Clint Lundholm is ‘weighing up’ his options with South Bullaway, which will race at Coonamble on Sunday.

Lundholm has the option to start his three-year-old in the $27,000 Maiden Handicap (1100m), where he is the current $3 second-favourite, or test his gelding’s mettle in the stronger $50,000 Super Maiden Plate (1200m), where bookmakers have the Dubbo galloper as a $10 chance. 

The Dubbo trainer admitted that scratchings would play a big part in his decision, with multiple chances entered in both events.  

“We could go either way, and we’re weighing up our options with South Bullaway,” Lundholm told NSW Country and Picnic Racing. 

“He’s drawn (gate) six in the 1100m and (gate) nine in the 1200m, but there is a heap of horses nominated for both races, so it will probably fall away. 

“We might stick to the 1100m and take that easier option, or we might go to the 1200m and chase the extra money.

“I’ll see what comes on Saturday and what scratchings there are and decide then.”

The $50,000 event has attracted some excellent types, with Coonamble product and Wyong-based trainer Damien Lane set to start the $1.70 favourite Go Isla Go (Clayton Gallagher, gate 1).

Scone visitor Luke Pepper has Warrant (Nick Heywood, gate 3) and Rushin’ Bubbles (Billy Cray, gate 8), and Rodney Northam will also venture from Scone with Joy The Quilter (gate 6) and Sebilla (Chelsea Hillier, gate 5).

“Damien Lane has got his one in there that has placed its last three, but they have to travel in the heat,” Lundholm said. 

“Plus, you don’t get a shot at $50,000 every day, so we’ll have to think about it.”

Whichever way connections decide to go, Lundholm believes the Charge Forward gelding is capable of a forward showing.

He has started four times, and last time out, the Dubbo galloper was strong to the line when finishing second, beaten a long neck in the 1100m Maiden Handicap at Narromine on December 5. 

At Coonamble, in-form apprentice Ronald Simpson stays in the saddle with the 1.5kg claim, and everything points towards a big run.

“The horse is going well,” Lundholm said. 

“Fourth-up, we thought he was a winning chance at Narromine last start, and he went down by a neck. 

“He is a young horse that has only had a few starts but is hitting his straps, and I’m excited to see how he goes.”

After a big Twilight meeting at Warren on Friday, where Lundholm trained the quinella in the 1600m Class One/Maiden Handicap with Stockholm and Karaoke King, NSW and Australia’s leading country trainer from 2022/23 is in for another busy program at Coonamble. 

Yehbut (Ronald Simpson, gate 5) should be thereabouts in the 2000m Class One/Maiden Plate, while Tupou (Mitch Stapleford, gate 11) and Majestic Wings (Zoe Hunt, gate 12) are the top weights in the 1400m Benchmark 58 Handicap.

In the last on the program, Beauchamp (Braith Nock, gate 11) and Notabadidea (Zoe Hunt, gate 11) will both carry weight and start decent prices in the 1200m Benchmark 66 Handicap.

Coonamble tips – 17/12/23

Race 1: South Bullaway $3

Race 2: 6 Rebel Flyer $5.50

Race 3: 7 Love Rules $2.50

Race 4: 8 Go Isla Go $1.70

Race 5: 2 Maryland Bridge $10

Race 6: 10 Leica Storm $3.10

Race 7: 5 Overextend $3.80