Torrens targets Gunnedah’s Boggabri Cup

The Sally Torrens-trained Sligo Queen will contest Saturday’s Boggabri Cup at Gunnedah. Photo: Bradley Photos.

The annual Boggabri Cup meeting will take centre stage at Gunnedah Jockey Club on Saturday, and the always-popular meeting kicks off an exciting little period for the club, which will lead to the running of the Gunnedah Cup and Big Dance qualifier on May 28. 

Gunnedah trainer Sally Torrens has at least three running on the day, and she said it was good to see her club bounce back after floods ravished the area in 2022. 

“We’ve had at least six floods go over it (the track) in a short space of time, and it was a difficult period,” Torrens said. 

“We’ve got anywhere from 6 to 10 in work and were okay because of where we are, and there was a bit of damage and wash through the paddocks, but we are high and dry here and we have the luxury of a treadmill, so we could keep them work.

“Still, it was an annoying thing for us because we couldn’t get back on the grass, and it took a while, but you wouldn’t believe how well it has bounced back.

Despite the struggles of late 2022, Gunnedah’s racecourse is in pristine condition ahead of Saturday’s meeting.

“I’ve never seen it look better,” Torrens said. 

“They have it rated as a (good) four, but it won’t be any worse that’s for sure; it has really good grass coverage.”

The 1400m Boggabri Cup is the feature on the Sky Two program, and the Gunnedah trainer appears to have a live chance in the form of Sligo Queen. 

The five-year-old is a last start winner, with Andrew Banks getting the job done when in the saddle at Coonabarabran on February 18, and Banks again takes the ride on Saturday.

Connections have drawn gate eight, and Torrens believes she will be hitting the line strongly. 

“She is a funny mare. She always gets back, and she’ll do that on Saturday, and she is probably better suited over the mile,” Torrens said. 

“With it being on the home track, we thought we would give her a crack at the 1400m and looking at the field, there is a bit of speed, so there should be a bit of genuine tempo, and with a bit of luck, she will be the one finishing off the best.” 

Banks will also ride Think’n Lucky, which is set to state from gate 13 in the 1400m Maiden Plate, and Torrens believes the four-year-old will be one to follow. 

“The maiden fella in the 1400m should go okay, but he is a work in process,” Torrens said. 

“This is his first run this prep, and he is a nice So You Think, and he does look to have some staying ability so I don’t think we will see the best of him until he gets out to 2000m.”

Following the pandemic and a very wet 2022, country racing has returned to normal, with big crowds getting out to this feature race days, and Torrens believes it is a good time for country trainers. 

“It’s fantastic to be racing, and there is some good prizemoney to be won, and these Country Boosted races on the TAB one (meetings) make a big difference and gives us a crack at the better money she said.”

Torrens believes Saturday’s Boggabri Cup meeting will attract a big crowd, and with fashions on the field, a full bar, canteen, TAB, book makers, and live music, there are plenty of reasons for locals and visitors to come out and support the meeting. 

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