Craig Weeding is in for another massive day at Tumut on Saturday, with the Wangaratta trainer bringing up to ten chances to the NSW country meeting.
The Victorian will look to win back-to-back Tumut Sprints (1000m) with stable stalwart Big Day Out, who took out the event’s inaugural running back in 2023.
With Jake Duffy in the saddle, Big Day out carried 61kg to victory last year, and after being allocated 64kg, the seven-time winner will lug 62kg on Saturday following Emma Ly’s two-kilogram claim.
“My thinking was that if he could win it last year with a big weight, he can win it again this year,” Weeding told NSW Country and Picnic Racing.
The Delago Deluxe gelding has been racing in the much tougher company, and before a short let-up, he finished fourth, beaten just over a length in the $50,000 Tuckerbox Sprint at Gundagai.
First-up at Wangaratta late last month, he was solid, finishing fourth in a 1000m Benchmark 64 Handicap, but second-up (7:2-1-1_), he’ll be a much-improved commodity.
“He’s never great first-up and always improves into a prep,” Weeding said.
“He draws really well (gate 1), and with Emma Ly, she claims two kilos, so he gets in pretty good.
“You want to draw low at Tumut, and he has some class on them and should get every chance.”
Weeding wished he had a stable of horses like Big Day Out, with the 54-start veteran a Flemington winner and consistently open company campaigner.
“That’s it; he’s just consistent and very honest, and he turns up every prep and is very reliable,” Weeding said.
“It makes him very easy to train; I just wish I had more of him.”
Weeding loves going to Tumut, with the Victorian boasting a 38.1% winning record on the tight-turning Southern Districts track.
Saturday’s meeting is a Sky 2 program, and it will be the first time the club has hosted their Tumut Cup meeting on Sky Racing.
“It should be a good meeting, and I’ll have a few in on the day,” Weeding said.
“The fact that it is a TAB meeting is good, so owners can see their horses run.
“Plus, Tumut is a place we always attend, and it’s no secret we’ve had some success there recently.”
The feature event on the day is the $19,000 Tumut Cup, and Weeding will start two live chances in Choice Harvest and Toronto Rain.
Choice Harvest is a 13-time winner and Country Cup specialist, which flashed late to finish third when beaten two by the Andrew Dale-trained Eamonn’s Memory in last month’s Tumbarumba Cup.
Weeding scratched the nine-year-old from Wagga’s Rodney Parsons OAM (1400m) feature event on Thursday to race at Tumut, which is a sign of his confidence.
“Choice Harvest will have to carry a bit of weight (60.5kg), and Jake (Duffy) stays on,” Weeding said.
“He has done the job before, and we’ve got a soft spot for him.”
Toronto Rain was game in defeat in the same Tumbarumba Cup, leading the field along before finishing second to Eamonn’s Memory, beaten just over a length.
With Emma Ly on board for the two-kilogram claim, the four-time winning Bon Hoffa mare will be expected to lead and take some catching.
“Toronto Rain has to be a light-weight chance,” Weeding said.
“She has Emma on board and will carry no weight, and she is interesting because we had previously kept her to the shorter trips.
“At Tumbarumba, she stepped up to 1400m and ran a big race, and over 1400m at Tumut, she will be fitter, and she has a few things in her favour.”
Weeding could be in for a big day, and he likes the chances of Rowdy Shebang in the Maiden Handicap (1400m) and both O’Please and A Bit Racey in the Benchmark 50 Handicap (1200m).