Gavin Groth out to win back-to-back Narrabri Cups

The Gavin Groth-trained Epic Decision will contest Saturday’s Narrabri Cup. Photo: Bradley Photos.

While you will have to go back to 2019 to find results for the last Narrabri Cup meeting, it is interesting to note that Gavin Groth is the most recent winner of the Narrabri Cup, with Billy Cray guiding About Time to victory in the $14,000 feature over the 1200m journey. 

On Saturday, the Narrabri Jockey Club will race for the first time in three years, after the pandemic cruelled their 2020 and 2021 meetings, and Groth will again look to win the now $15,000 Narrabri feature. 

This time it will be Maddy Owen in the saddle, with the two-kilogram claiming apprentice jumping abord Epic Decision.  

Groth said there was stable confidence leading into Saturday’s meeting, with the Magic Albert gelding having been set for this race for some time.

“Out of all my horses there, Epic Decision has been set for the race and looks the best chance,” Groth said. 

“It’s his grade now. He is getting on and the conditions will suit him, and he won’t have to carry a big weight. 

“He has been carrying weight in (Benchmark) 58s and it’s just too much. Look, he still tries, and he is a good old horse, and I thought this race would suit him.”

Owen was booked for the ride early, and with connections drawing gate four in the seven-horse field, the apprentice should have every chance of winning on the eight-year-old.  

“You can never get too confident, but Maddy has been riding him the last couple of starts knowing we were going to Narrabri,” Groth said. 

“He will like the dirt and he should scoot along, and we will see how he goes on the day.”

The 52-start veteran is an eight-time winner and does look to be the class horse in the field, but Groth will also have Malzoom going around in the race, with Brooke Stower booked for the ride. 

The seven-year-old has raced 46 times for three wins but hasn’t been firing of late, finishing down the track at Tamworth, Gilgandra, Quirindi and Gunnedah at his last four starts.

The stable also has Al Guns A Dancer in the $12,000 Wee Waa Cup, and Groth thought the six-year-old was a place chance ahead of what will be a busy season of picnic racing for the Gunnedah galloper.

“He has had a break this horse, and for no real reason. I had to many in work, and we put him aside for a while,” Groth said. 

“We actually brought him back to run him in the Picnic Champion Series. He is a half-brother to Epic Decision but nowhere as well performed.

“We trialled him and he is first-up for 12 months, but I think if he can run a place that would be good result.”

The Gunnedah stable generally enjoys racing at Narrabri, with Groth hinting it was a leader’s track.

“We do always have a bit of joy when we go to Narrabri,” Groth said. 

“It’s a good little track. It’s sort of a half sand and dirt track, and they harrow it up and when they have it right, it is a really good surface.

“It is predominantly a leader’s track, being a firm surface, and the horses can get out and get going and the others sometimes can’t run on, so if you have got one fit and drawn well, you’re half a chance.”

It will be a big day of racing for Narrabri Jockey Club with their six-race-program set to attract locals and visitors from afar, and readers can click here to find out more about the meeting, or they can click here for full fields