When Red Marauder steps out in the first event at Bligh Amateur Picnic Races tomorrow at Mudgee, trainer Paul Theobald and jockey Alan Barton will be searching for a unique hat trick.
The pair have combined on the five-year-old for a win at his last two starts at the picnics, emerging victorious in a Class B Handicap at Gosford in November last year, before taking out another Class B at Bedgerabong in February.
This time, Red Marauder will contest a Class Two Handicap over the 900m and will jump from barrier four; with Theobald labelling the Husson gelding as the best of his chances tomorrow.
“I think Red Marauder is my best chance of winning,” Theobald said.
“With Alan (Barton) on board, he will be a force.”
The Bathurst trainer is adamant that Barton is the man to get the job done, with the veteran jockey taking three rides for the stable tomorrow.
“Alan and I go back 25 years, he has been riding for me for a long, long time,” Theobald said.
“He is an exceptional horseman and rider; he rides my horses in track work and that makes all the difference.
“I don’t like legging up a jockey when they don’t know the horse, but when Alan is in the saddle, I don’t have to give him instructions, he just knows what to do.”
When asked what it would mean to win another race on Red Marauder for Theobald, Barton touched on their racing history.
“I would be stoked. Paul and I get a big kick out of getting a winner at the picnics,” Barton said.
Barton, who only rides in amateur events these days, was thankful he had the chance to continue riding through the Covid-19 crisis.
“We are all very appreciative we can still ride,” Barton said.
“I think it is really good they (Bligh Picnics) are racing and it means a lot to everyone.”
Barton also believed Red Marauder was his best chance of winning at Mudgee tomorrow.
“Red Marauder would have to be my best chance, he is going well,” Barton said.
“On his form at the picnics, he would be hard to beat.”
In addition to the handy little Class Two Handicap, the Mudgee Race club will be hosting a tough six race-program, highlighted by the Barc Bligh Picnic Cup over 1850m.
The feature event has regular picnic champion Austin, for Rodney Robb and Maddy Wright in action, while last year’s third placegetter Happy Partner, for Sharon Jeffries and Brent Evans is back for another shot.
The first race on the day commences at 11am, and anyone looking to have a punt can visit www.southerncrossbet.com.au.