McCabe set for busy month ahead of Country Championships qualifier

Ashleigh Stanley and Roy McCabe will have Polens (pictured) racing at Bathurst on Friday. Image: Jeff Hanson/NSW Country and Picnic Racing.

Bathurst Thoroughbred Racing Club will kick off a busy month on Friday, with the Central Districts racecourse hosting meetings on February 2, 12, and 29.

The seven-race program has a good mix of trainers in attendance, and local conditioner Roy McCabe will start two chances while he has three more trialling. 

“It’s definitely an exciting time for us, as they are getting fitter and getting ready for upcoming meetings,” McCabe told NSW Country and Picnic Racing.

“We have two maidens running, and the three that are trialling will likely race here in ten days, and at that meeting, we’ll have five or six in.

“This time of the year is the best time for Bathurst, and at our next meeting, we host the Country Championships Prelude ahead of the Country Champs race at Mudgee.

“Tomorrow’s meeting is good, and at this meeting and the next, you’ll see a lot of horses getting set for the Country Championships.”

With his partner Ashleigh Stanley in the saddle, McCabe will start two maidens at Bathurst, with the Peter Knight-raced Polens contesting the 1100m Maiden Plate and the Robin Tatham-raced Radiant Glow taking on the 1400m Maiden Plate. 

“I like Radiant Glow, and she will definitely go out and win a maiden, but maybe not tomorrow,” McCabe said.

“We will eventually step her out over 2000m, and she will get better with more distance. 

“Polens is another one that will win a maiden, but she is in a tough race tomorrow with all those city trainers and will go well in the right race. 

“First-up for us, she got back at Cowra and ran right through the line, and she looks to have some ability.”

Knight and Tatham have a big team with the McCabe stable, and the trio have enjoyed a successful run of late. 

“They have 40-odd horses racing in NSW with four different trainers, and we have only been working together for a bit less than a year, but we’ve had a lot of luck together,” McCabe said. 

“I’ve got eight in work for Peter and Robin, and they are fantastic owners who are loyal, pay their bills and keep us full.”

In exciting news for the stable, Our Orator is about to return to racing, with the four-year-old being set for the Central Districts Country Championships qualifier at Mudgee on Sunday, February 25.

A three-time winner, McCabe has big raps on the Dissident gelding.

“We are leaning towards trialling him at Bathurst next week and heading straight to Mudgee for the heat,” McCabe said. 

“It’s going to be a tough race to win, but he’s going well, and he’ll get a chance.”

Bathurst trainers are set to take many live chances to the Central Districts qualifier, with McCabe, Gayna Williams, Dean Mirfin, Paul Theobald, and Andrew Ryan possibly starting horses at Mudgee. 

McCabe said it helps that they have a good track to gallop on and a new manager in Lisa Pierce pushing for essential upgrades. 

“If you look back five years, Bathurst trainers had seven horses in a qualifier and finished one through to seven, and we always seem to go well in it,” McCabe said. 

“We’ve got a good track we can gallop on when we need to, we have a swimming pool and walker, and they just spent $150,000 on a sand track. 

“Once these new stables go up, they will have a treadmill and round yarn in each, and with the upgrade of the course proper, it will be great. 

“Plus, we need those things so we can compete against those city horses that keep coming out here.”

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