Tulli galloper promising picnic glory

On A Promise and Maddy Wright cross the line first in the 1100m Class Three Handicap at Bedgerabong on February 13. Photo: Racing Photography.

While he might not be racing for Group 1 glory on Saturday, On A Promise will carry the hopes of a region when he heads to Tottenham on Saturday. 

The Brett Robb runner is trained in Nyngan but owned in Tullibigeal by a band of tragic racing supporters. 

These owners, well the ones who aren’t playing cricket, will be on hand as their galloper contests the 1200m Class Two event with leading picnic hoop, Maddy Wright, in the saddle.

The five-year-old gets into the race nicely too, after returning from a spell last start and winning over the 1100m at Bedgerabong. 

“He is going really good; he has come back nicely. We gave him a month out and he came back better than ever,” Robb said. 

“He is a big strong horse, and I was worried about him doing too well in the paddock, but he came back in good nick and his first start back was a good win and he has done well since that run.”

Robb almost backed the Shrapnel gelding up at Condobolin last weekend, but instead gave him the extra week, which he believes was the right decision. 

“I nearly went to Condobolin last week and I’m glad I didn’t do that, especially on the weeks back up,” Robb said. 

“He is going well enough to win again and Tottenham should suit him.”

While Tottenham is the next race in mind for On A Promise, Robb said he had one eye on the Tullibigeal Cup that is slated for March 27.

“If he pulls up well after Tottenham, I will pick a race in the middle, maybe Coonamble and then head to the Tulli cup,” Robb said. 

“He has a good group of owners and all they want to do is win the Tullibigeal Cup.”

In the back of Robb’s mind is also the NSW Picnic Racing Association Championship Series, which boasts a final worth $50,000 and the Nyngan runner already has 17 points, and he is nearing enough to guarantee him a run in the rich picnic final. 

“If he goes to Tottenham and wins, he will be on 21 and if he goes to the Tullibigeal cup, he will get a couple points there and that should be enough to secure his spot in the picnic championship,” Robb said. 

Since arriving with Robb, the popular picnic galloper has had eight starts and never missed a place, and his trainer praised his consistency.

“He has been top three in all eight starts with me and he has been very consistent,” Robb said. 

“When he was fresh coming up last prep, he won that open trophy race at Gilgandra and it wasn’t a weak race.”

Connections will be pleased to hear that Maddy Wright is booked for the immediate future.

“Maddy won’t get off him, she likes him, and she will probably ride him in the picnic championship too,” Robb said. 

Tulli owner, Dean Hague, was happy to discuss the picnic championship final, but more interested in a potential crack at winning the Tullibigeal Cup.

“We have our fingers crossed,” Hague said. 

“What I’ve said to Snow (Brett Robb), it doesn’t matter what happens afterwards, but if you win the Tulli Cup, you will be immortalised.”

Hague said he had been trying to find a Tullibigeal cup candidate, and he believes On A Promise is the type of horse to take it out. 

“Tullibigeal is the local race meeting for lot of people and ever since it started, we have strived to get one in the cup,” Hague said. 

“He is a tough sort of horse and he doesn’t mind those bush tracks and he should be a chance if he is fit.”For the moment, On A Promise will be set for Tottenham, which boasts a six-race-program on Saturday, which is headlined by the $5,500 Tottenham Picnic Cup.