ON THE RIGHT TRACK
THE BIGGEST day on the Australian racing calendar is a little more than 24 hours away.
While the eyes of the nation are glued to Flemington at 3pm, every race across the nation is an opportunity for someone to attach their name to glory.
And the Echuca event — one of the biggest in country racing every year — will be no different.
All trainers will be looking to make a major impact, with local trainers hoping to produce on their home track.
Jim Lake will be looking for that kind of success with South Arbor.
The four-year-old gelding will be looking for its first win in its fourth start under Lake.
Though recent form would be an indicator he is on the right track.
‘‘We’ve given him some short runs to begin with,’’ Lake said.
‘‘He ran two fourths at Swan Hill and Echuca early in October as we were trying to get him adjusted to running again.’’
Then 11 days ago, he showed just what he was capable of, finishing second by a head to Single Handed at Echuca.
And Lake thinks tomorrow’s meeting may be the moment.
‘‘He will go horribly close if he doesn’t win,’’ Lake said.
‘‘The only thing is the weather, we don’t know how he will run on a wet track if we do get a bit of rain. But I’m not going to scratch him, we are going to find out what he can do if it does get a bit wet.’’
South Arbor transferred from Robbie Griffiths to Lake in April, with Lake saying he had always believed in South Arbor’s ability. ‘‘I always liked him,’’ Lake said. ‘‘He has a strong pedigree, I believed that he needed a bit more ground and I think we have shown that.
‘‘He just needs to relax a bit, he pulls a bit at times but he is working very well and I’m really happy.’’
South Arbor will be far from the only local chance, with 17 local horses running, and at least one local horse competing in every race on the day.
Lake will also run Storm Approach in race four.
Gwenda Johnstone will run April Son In Cuba in race one, Keep It Classy in race two and Fighting Shadow in race four.
Nicksy Boy in race two, Regal Reece in race three, Arellano in race four and Maria Elisa in race seven will take the track for Rhys Archard, while Bonville in race five and Blue Jangles in race six have Daryl Archard confident of two winners.
Extreme Torque and Yumaskah in race three, I’m The Boss in race four, Mywordsaidthebird in the sixth and Left Jaybee Out in the seventh will carry the flame for the Cornish Gaskin stable.
Rounding out the locals will be Our Free Will in the seventh for Tayne Davies.
With a stacked card, the day of racing could be a dominant one for the locals.