Tumbarumba owners dreaming of Country Champs glory at Nowra

Brothers Of Antrim and Mathew Cahill. Photo: Lance Fearne.

Gordon Kelso and his family will have star galloper Brothers of Antrim racing for Country Championship riches on Sunday. 

The Canberra galloper, trained by Doug Gorrel, will jump from gate 10 in the $150,000 South East Country Championships qualifier at Nowra with Mathew Cahill taking the ride. 

The four-year-old is more than handy, having won three times from eight starts, and connections will be hoping their gelding can finish top-two on Sunday and qualify for the $500,000 final at Royal Randwick on April 2. 

“You have to have a crack when the race is worth that much,” Gorrel said. 

“He still has a lot to learn. He doesn’t always finish his races but he is a good type. 

“I think he is a Sydney Saturday class horse in another 12 months. There is a fair bit of ability there, but he is still learning his trade.”

Gorrel said gate 10 would make their job very hard in a loaded Country Championship heat that features star country horses Testator Silens (Luke Clarke), So Say You (Terry Robinson) and Blue Missile (Michelle Ritchie).

“I was nearly not going from barrier 10 but he is going so well,” Gorrel said. 

“You don’t get these opportunities too often, and the owners are keen and he has come on really well after his last run.

“It will need to be some sort of ride for him to win and I guess we will try and save him for one run.

“He would need to be cuddled somewhere and have one shot at the them, and I guess we will see how he goes.”

Gorrel said the seven furlongs shouldn’t be an issue for The Brothers War gelding. 

“I think he will get the 1400m, but it would have been nice to try it in four weeks, and not this week,” Gorrel said. 

Brothers of Antrim has been nominated to race in multiple TAB Highway Handicaps in the lead-up to Sunday, but being trained in Canberra has seen him miss out on a start due to Canberra-trained horses automatically going to the bottom of the order of acceptances, meaning Gorrel was pushed towards a crack at the Country Championships instead.

“He is every chance with the right run. He is bomb proof in every other regard. He is a good doer, lovely to have around the place and he works well,” Gorrel said. 

“But on race day, he needs to learn how to put them away and he might just be 12 months away from his best.

“Ideally, we were trying to target a TAB Highway, but he was balloted out both times, which was disappointing.

“They would have been perfect, but this is option b and we will see how he goes on Sunday.”

The Nowra South East Country Championships qualifier is set to be run at 4.45pm, being the seventh race on the Sunday program.

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