Elson Boy chases three straight in Diggers Cup

Dar Lunn will start Elson Boy in today’s Narromine Digger’s Cup. Image – Racing Photography.

After a series of triumphs and setbacks in the racing world, Dar Lunn managed to secure Elson Boy’s spot in the prestigious $1 million Country Championships final held at Royal Randwick last month. 

However, a week before the highly anticipated race, they were forced to withdraw, adding another twist to their racing journey. 

Elson Boy, the four-year-old Dubbo galloper ridden by the skilled Tommy Berry, demonstrated remarkable resilience as he held off fierce rivals Gallant Star and Listen To The Band in the $150,000 Western Districts qualifier held in early March.

It was a famous win for a country battler, who has enjoyed much success recently for owners Guy Mitchell and Rob Pratten. 

Set for the final, Lunn trialled Elson Boy at Mudgee on March 31, and he looked a treat cruising to the line for an easy win, but disaster would strike the stable. 

That evening, Lunn checked on his star galloper, who had suffered a shoulder strain. Despite working on the El Roca gelding, he was eventually scratched and missed the race at Royal Randwick, which Asgarda won.

“As you can imagine, this is absolutely devastating for his owners and Dar, who has put so much time and effort into setting Elson up for this race,” the stable’s statement read after the scratching. 

“Dar knows this horse inside and out and believes he isn’t sound enough to go around. To Dar, the welfare of his horses is paramount and takes precedence.”

While it won’t replace the experience of starting a genuine contender in a $1 million race, Lunn and connections will look to ease their disappointment in Sunday’s Digger’s Cup (1300m) at Narromine. 

Connections have drawn wide, and Braith Nock is in the saddle, but that hasn’t stopped punters from backing the Dubbo galloper as an equal favourite from $3.80 to $3.50. 

A speedster, Nock will look to take up the running from the wide draw, and it will be a matter of catching them if you can. 

Elson Boy, a five-time winner from 18 starts, can take his career earnings to over $150,000 at Narromine on Sunday.

The Digger’s Cup headlines a seven-race card at Narromine, which includes free face painting and jumping castle, music by Shane Riley, full bar facilities, food and coffee vendors, local and metropolitan bookmakers, and TAB facilities.

Jeff Hanson’s tips

Race 1: Release Point $2

Race 2: Big Wandji $3.60

Race 3: Poppy Boxer $5

Race 4: Lasvais $7.50

Race 5: Giving Delight $2.25 (Best bet)

Race 6: The Dramatist $3.50 

Race 7: Texas Open $10 (Best value)

Col Hodges’ tips

Race 1: 9, 7, 2, 4 – Release Point $2

Race 2: 3, 1, 2, 8 – Goodbye Stranger $6

Race 3: 9, 7, 5, 8 – Poppy Boxer $5

Race 4: 7, 6, 12, 8 – Laisvas $7.50

Race 5: 2, 13, 6, 15 – Giving Delight $2.25

Race 6:  6, 7, 1, 9 – Elson Boy $3.50

Race 7: 3, 2, 7, 5 – Nest In The Hills $4.40

Ben Walker’s tips

Race 1: 2, 9, 7, 4 – High Charge $7

Race 2: 1, 3, 2, 8 – Naval Destroyer $1.55

Race 3: 5, 9, 7 8 – The Mooch (Best Bet) $3.80

Race 4: 6, 8, 7, 11 – I’m Scarlett $6

Race 5: 2, 6, 10, 3 – Giving Delight (Best Bet) $2.25

Race 6: 5, 6, 1, 3 – The Dramatist $3.50

Race 7: 3, 16, 11, 5 – Nest In The Hills $4.40