WYONG trainer Damien Lane is considering a Grafton Cup debut for himself and his talented miler, Mr McBat.
Originally from Coonamble Lane is now based at Wyong where he has 20 in work at his stable and is currently a close second to Kim Waugh on the Wyong trainer’s premiership.
He has also enjoyed a wonderful season with winners all over the region including Dubbo, Scone, Coonamble and Tamworth.
On Sunday he won the feature John and Colleen Lundholm Memorial Cannonball at Coonamble.
Winning the cannonball with Kanguru was immensely satisfying for Damien.
“I grew up out there just down the street from John and Colleen,” he said.
“It was a special win.”
After winning the cannonball with Kanguru he also won the final race with Nissile to make the 12-hour round trip a major success for him.
Travelling is nothing new to him.
“I bought a Mazda BT50 not quite two years ago and it’s done 97,000km already,” he said.
So making the trip up to Grafton won’t be too much of an extra effort, he said.
“Never been to the Grafton Cup Carnival,” he said.
“I was thinking about taking Mr McBat up for the South Grafton Cup. Maybe Pirate Ben and All But Gone too but I haven’t made a decision and I know stables are pretty hard to find. Might have to stay at Coffs.”
The $50,000 South Grafton Cup (1600m) looks a perfect race for Mr McBat on Sunday, July 9.
In the meantime he looks towards the Tamworth Tradies Day Showcase meeting this Friday when he starts two and maybe three of his stable.
Lane has nominated Choice Larga, Cervinia and Mosaytion Friday’s Tradies Day Showcase meeting at Tamworth and while Choice Larga is an unlikely starter Cervinia and Mosaytion are almost certain to go around, the well-travelled Wyong trainer said.
“Choice Larga will probably go to Canterbury next Wednesday,” he said of a gelding who was also topweight for today’s TLE Newcastle Handicap at Broadmeadow.
“I thought hard about Tamworth. We’ll see what weight he gets. He’ll probably get 59kg at Canterbury next week too.
“Cervinia and Mosaytion will both go up.
“She was going really well,” he said of Somerton Cup winning Cervinia.
“She won the three starts in a row but then she drew wide at Newcastle.”
She finished seventh at Newcastle and might have just the one more run after Tamworth before spelling.
He will make a decision with her but it’s unlikely she will run in the transferred Gunnedah Cup that she had been aimed at but she could also run in the Curlewis Cup (1600m) at Gunnedah on July 7.
“If she draws badly at Tamworth I might freshen her up and run her at Gunnedah in that Curlewis Cup,” he said.
Lane’s double at Coonamble last Sunday continues a great season for him.
He’s currently running second to Kim Waugh in the Wyong trainer’s premiership and has tallied 30 winners this season.
“I don’t mind the travelling. It’s four hours up to Tamworth, two hours to Muswellbrook and bit a more to Scone, two and half to Taree, three and a half to Port and 90 minutes to Rosehill and Randwick.”
It was six hours back home to Coonamble but he made a weekend of it going Friday, giving his two runners a day to recover on Saturday, racing and celebrating Sunday and then returning to his Wyong stable Monday.
“I couldn’t do it without good staff though,” he said.
While he has three good, permanent staff he also has his trump card and partner, Kate (Moore).
“She’s amazing,” Damien said.
“She runs the barn when I’m not there and rides work as well.”