Quick back-up turns out to be Notabadidea in Coona Cup

Notabadidea won the Coonabarabran Cup for jockey Clayton Gallagher and trainer Clint Lundholm. Photo: Racing Photography.

Clint Lundholm wouldn’t take all the credit when discussing Notabadidea’s remarkable victory in the $75,000 Coonabarabran Cup on Sunday. 

The six-year-old had finished fifth in the 1600m Cootamundra Cup on Friday, beaten some 6.92 lengths by the Craig Hardy-prepared, Zakeriz. 

Two days later and competing in a race that many punters deemed harder to win, the Highly Recommended gelding started double figure odds but found the line strongly for jockey, Clayton Gallagher, to win the Coona Cup, again over the 1600m journey.

Lundholm said the stable’s newest addition – former Racing NSW steward Todd Smith – played a telling hand when deciding to run Notabadidea on the quick back-up at Coonabarabran. 

“We only decided on the morning of the races that he was going to Coona,” Lundholm said. 

“Todd Smith – our ex-chief steward – he is working for me as a Racing Manager, and he planted the seed with me about backing him up.

“When I took him to Coota, he had a bit of a blow after the run, which surprised me, but he ate up well that night, and the next day, he felt good and ate up again, so I decided to take him to the races.”

The Dubbo trainer admitted that he didn’t know if Notabadidea would handle the shorter than usual turnaround, but he had always believed his gelding could win a country feature race. 

“It was a bit of an unknown backing him up that quick, but we were confident he would run well,” Lundholm said. 

“He is the right horse for these sorts of cups, and it was just a matter of having him right on the day.”

Lundholm, a Coonamble product, said it was special to be winning another local cup for the first time. 

“Mate, we’re stoked. We had a good night last night (Sunday) and celebrated with a few owners and it was well worth it,” Lundholm said. 

Clint Lundholm celebrated at Coonabarabran Jockey Club on Sunday after Notabadidea won the Coonabarabran Cup. Photo: Racing Photography.

“Coonamble is at the top of the list when it comes to big races I want to win, but these races are always good to win. We hadn’t won it before, we had finished with a couple of placings with a couple of horses, but this is our first one.”

Notabadidea will now head towards the Country Classic next month and Lundholm said it was good to see his gelding and the stable firing at the right time of the year.

“He will shape up now for the Country Classic at Rosehill in two weeks,” Lundholm said. 

“He is working well and so is the rest of them. The stable has never been healthier than it is now. 

“We are working hard and getting those returns now.”

For the moment though, Lundholm and his team have a busy few days ahead of them, with big teams entered for the Moree Cup Showcase meeting on Friday and the Dubbo Derby Day meeting on Saturday.