Lane sets well-named Canamble for Coonamble assignment

Damien Lane will return home on Saturday when starting the well-named Canamble at Coonamble. Image: Bradley Photos.

Damien Lane will head home on Sunday, hoping the well-named Canamble can salute at Coonamble. 

Contesting the Boot Prelude (1100m) – a two-year-old race designed to lead into next month’s $200,000 Wellington Boot (1100m) – Lane will have Tommy Berry riding his Aylmerton filly. 

Born and bred in Coonamble, the Wyong-based trainer has been waiting to name a horse after his hometown. 

“She’s definitely named after Coonamble,” Lane told NSW Country and Picnic Racing.

“I was there for 25 years, got my licence there and had it for a couple of months before moving to Wyong. 

“She goes really well, and she trialled up well. The plan was to go into this and then the (Wellington) Boot.

“She is doing all this in her first prep, and she will be a nice filly when she comes back, so we’ll see how she goes, but she will need to run top two to warrant us going to the boot.”

Canamble will run into the unbeaten Too Darn Lovely from the Scott Singleton yard. 

A very smart two-year-old by Too Darn Hot, she has won races at Scone and Quirindi in the lead-up to Sunday’s race, and she draws nicely with gate two and will only carry 57.5kg after Mitch Stapleford’s two-kilogram claim. 

“We had this race in mind and were hopeful of winning it until Scott Singleton decided to take his fast thing out there,” Lane laughed. 

“It makes it difficult, and I’m not sure whether we can beat it, but we’ll have a crack.”

A $14,000 purchase at the 2023 Scone HTBA Sale, Canamble is eligible for the $200,000 Inglis Challenge in May, and Lane has that in the back of his mind. 

“I only paid $14,000 for her, and we’ll have to decide whether we go to the Boot or freshen her up and fly past the Boot and go to Scone,” Lane said.

“You would have to think that Scone will be weaker than the Boot and it is worth good money being a restricted race, so that might be the go.”

Lane will debut another first-starter in Sunday’s Boot Prelude, with stablemate I’m Opinionated drawing gate five in the eight-horse field. 

Lane’s apprentice, Anna Roper, takes the ride, and the Wyong trainer believes the Lord Of The Sky filly is a chance. 

I’m Opinionated, a $2,000 purchase at the same 2023 Scone HTBA Sale as Canamble, is a half-sister to Deep Opinions, which went on to win the Grafton Guineas Prelude in 2023. 

“I’m Opinionated will be better suited when she gets to 1400m,” Lane said. 

“She is a half-sister to Deep Opinions, who won this race two years ago. She went on with the job and won a few races before she had an injury in the paddock.

“I bought this filly because she related to her, but she will be better suited to a bit more ground.

“Still, she is going well, and Scott’s horse goes fast, and so does mine (Canamble); if they go too hard out front, it could set it up for something coming from behind like this filly.”

Lane could have up to five chances racing on a big day for Coonamble, who hosts the $150,000 Western Districts Country Championships qualifier (1400m). 

The eight-race program has attracted some very good fields, which include the $50,000 Super Maiden Plate (1400m), the $40,000 Country Boosted Maiden Plate (1100m), and the $35,000 Country Boosted Benchmark 58 Handicap (1100m). 

For more on the 2024 Country Championships, click here