Racing Orange will host their annual Legends Day meeting on Sunday, which includes the running of the 2023 Orange Cup Prelude.
It seems fitting that a veteran trainer and loyal country racing supporter in Norm Lewis will again back the meeting, even more so that he has the well-named Power Legend going around in the 1610m feature event.
“I love to look after the country, and support the tracks because they look after me,” Lewis said.
“I’m an old fart these days, and I’m still riding work at 72, but I love getting out to these meetings, and it should be really good on Sunday.”
The Hawkesbury trainer will present Power Legend in the Orange Cup Prelude, and he was the first to admit the $425,000 yearling purchase by Pierro and out of Noble Quality hasn’t lived up to expectations.
“He’s a well-bred horse, but that doesn’t make him fast,” Lewis laughed.
“He’s one-paced, and he’s got more problems than I have, but he has started to come good.”
The four-year-old has raced 22 times for one win and four placings, and while he gives away a lot to the likes of Reward Seeker, Wild Rocket, Seal of Flames, and Westlink, Lewis said his galloper was working as well as he could ahead of Sunday’s tough task.
“He worked really good this morning; he surprised me a bit, but he’s going good,” Lewis said.
“I’ve only had him the one start, and he hasn’t done a lot of work, and he’s been swimming more than anything, but we’ll take him there and see how he goes.”
Lewis looks to have a live chance in the 1010m Benchmark 58 Handicap, and he said the in-form Heavenly Prophet was a ‘good place chance’ after drawing gate six.
“I would have liked to draw the inside, because she probably wins if she does, but she will go forward from the outside,” Lewis said.
“She was unlucky at Bathurst a few starts ago, and her run at Nowra was good, and I would put a line through the run at Canterbury.
“She’s no star, but she is a really nice little mare, Choc (Anthony Cavallo) is riding her and the other fella, and I will leave it up to him.”
It’s an important day for Racing Orange, who host the day in honour of all the great people that have served the club over the years.
Tips, trials, and tribulations
Race 1: 3 Farleine – The Goulburn galloper Falreine draws off the track in this 1010m Maiden Plate, but he was impressive first-up from a spell at Wagga when placings second and beaten half-a-length when finishing off strongly.
Race 2: 3 Beagle – It’s an open 1010m Benchmark 58 sprint but the former Victorian, Beagle is proven first-up, and now trained in Dubbo, he trialled well on his home track earlier this month and he appears to be primed and fresh.
Race 3: 3 Wild Rocket – A good field converges in the 1610m Orange Cup Prelude, and Wild Rocket gets in nicely.
She is proven in this class, and this looks a very winnable race. There’s no doubting she is being set for next month’s Orange Cup.
Race 4: 4 Walk Up Start – James Ponsonby is still searching for his first winner since moving to Orange, and he gets a good chance with Walk Up Start in the 1610m Maiden Plate.
He went close in recent starts at Queanbeyan and Moruya, and Michael Travers hops on board for the ride.
Race 5: 4 Poppy’s Girl – Gayna Williams has only had Poppy’s Girl for two starts, and on both occasions she finished second at Orange and Bathurst.
Connection’s draw well in this 1290m Maiden Handicap and Robbie Dolan is on board. She’s our second-best bet on the program.
Race 6: 7 Packer – The Sydney galloper has been knocking on the door of a win, placing here at Orange in three of his last four starts.
There is a bit of pace in this 1290m Benchmark 58, and if Ellen Hennessy can get a nice sit in behind the early speed, the pair will be hard to beat.
Race 7: 2 Indicative – The Scone galloper’s form is better than what it reads on face value, and he’s back to a very winnable grade in this 1410m Class Two Handicap.
Connections draw well, Chad Lever takes the ride, and he looks the best bet on the program.
For fields click here.