With the Country Championship series now so close, Dubbo Turf Club general manager Vince Gordon expects a “spectacular” day of racing on Thursday.
A number of trainers are finalising preparations for heats at either Mudgee or Dubbo in the coming weeks and one of those is Cameron Crockett.
The Mudgee-based Crockett has a strong team targeting the rich series and a strong run from Kingsbridge on Thursday could see him back-up 10 days later in the Central Districts Qualifier at Mudgee.
“If (Kingsbridge) was in winning form it’d be the right thing by the owners to give it a shot,” Crockett told Racing NSW, the gelding to contest the Kennards Hire Dubbo Benchmark 60 Handicap (1600m) at Dubbo.
Kingsbridge has had nine career starts, with three of those coming this preparation.
He’s shown progression each run this time out, a seventh-placed finish at Tamworth followed by a fourth at Cowra and then a second at Orange.
He finished behind stablemate Dubali that day at Cowra and will take him on again at Dubbo.
Kingsbridge was handed 60.5kg, compared to Dubali’s 58.5kg, but the 2kg claim of apprentice Chris Williams offsets that somewhat.
Leading country hoop Mathew Cahill will ride Dubali from barrier six while Kingsbridge is next door in five.
Garry Lunn and Mark Jones will fly the flag for the local hope with the former having Oskastar going from barrier eight with in-form apprentice Alena Skerritt taking the ride.
The Jones-trained Eagles Dare, which has finished in the placings in his past four starts, will again have Ken Dunbar in the saddle.
After finishing a disappointing sixth at Warren in mid-December, five-year-old Eagles Dare finished second at Gilgandra before thirds at Wellington, Parkes and Narromine.
The Kennards Hire Air and Air Tools Maiden Plate (1400m) will also garner some interest, with the Clint Lundholm-trained Spezzatura aiming to finally break through after three seconds in his past four starts.
The promsing Brett Cavanough-trained Tornado Gal also features in the event.
Racing starts 2pm at Dubbo Turf Club with the Kennards Hire Dubbo Benchmark 60 Handicap (1600m) the first event.