Will Lion of Africa roar at Rosehill?
MORUYA trainer Steven Cummins will make his first visit to Rosehill tomorrow since he was a young boy, when his six-year-old Lion Of Africa lines up in the $40,000 TAB Highway Hcp (1300m).
The TAB Highway Handicap concept, open only to country-trained Class 2 and 3 horses, has enabled Cummins to race a horse at a metropolitan track for the first time.
In fact, he had to look up directions to Rosehill to make sure he arrives without fuss.
"It's a great concept and I can't wait to get there," Cummins said.
"When this idea was announced, I started to target my horses for those (TAB Highway) races."
Although Lion Of Africa hasn't run worse than third at his past six starts, he'll have to come from further back than usual to win after drawing barrier 14.
But it might not be a bad thing, with apprentice jockey Josh Cartwright on board.
"Last preparation he was getting to the front too early and then would just look around and wait for them," Cummins said.
"If we can get a bit of luck in the race and find a run then we'll be a chance because he's very consistent.
"Josh knows the horse well and he'll be hitting the line hard."
With a capacity field of runners coming from all over the state, Cummins said it was not only country racing participants who would have interest - he expects punters to continue to support the concept.
"The country people will get behind their home-town horses too and a lot of them will go down and have a bet on them," Cummins said.
"Looking at the form, it's probably the best Class 2 country race going around and we'll all have to step up to win it."
The first of the nine races at Rosehill tomorrow will jump at 12.05pm with theTAB Highway Hcp at 2.45pm.