A 12-hour drive, three-day stop over and 1112km round trip are the lengths that Tony Newing is willing to go for a shot at Friday’s $40,000 Moree Cup (1400m) with Camp Rifle.
The Gosford trainer and his five-year-old gelding are no stranger to the road, with recent racing from Brisbane to Wyong and most recently Coonamble, where Camp Rifle was nabbed in the shadows of the post in the BM 66 Showcase Handicap (1400m).
However, Newing is confident the long trip will be worth it.
“If anyone knows me, they know how far I go! But we’re not driving that far just for the fun of it,” he said.
“The race just came at the perfect time for him.
“All of his recent racing ties in really well for the cup. We made a point of travelling him because he’s a bit of a tricky horse, he’s a bit funny in the head. Travelling him a lot has really sparked him back up.
“Last start he simply hit the front too early with the big weight. Matty Cahill was really critical of himself – he was very apologetic for going a bit early on him.”
The son of Shooting To Win lumped 62.5kg at Coonamble, but now drops a staggering 7.5kg, a weight which only bolsters Newing’s confidence.
“It’s a huge weight drop so, it has to be a big advantage going into this,” Newing said.
“He is a horse who has carried big weights throughout his whole career with me – only three times since I’ve had him has he carried less than 58kg.
“He won’t know himself with 55kg on his back.”
Camp Rifle has been given the visitors draw of 12 but this hasn’t damped Newing’s enthusiasm, in fact, he sees it as a positive.
“The wide gate isn’t too much of a worry because ever since we have been a bit negative out of the gates, he has been finishing off perfectly, so we have no reason to change that. If anything, those ‘bad draws’ can get you an extra dollar.
“When he is ridden quiet, off a nice pace, he always hits the line extremely well.”
Top jock Matthew McGuren takes the ride and has developed a good association with the horse.
“Matty McGuren has won on him twice now – it was actually his idea to go to this race,” Newing said.
“Let’s hope he can make it three wins.
“If he doesn’t run top two, I’d be surprised.”
Camp Rifle narrowly holds favouritism at $4.85, with Rich and Shameless also well fancied from barrier 1 at $5.50.
The Moree Cup is the finale on the eight-race card and will jump at 5.25pm.
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