Damien Lane is hoping for a strong finish to what has been a frustrating season for the Wyong based trainer.
Lane has saddled up 22 winners to date in 2018/2019, and while he looks set to beat last seasons total of 26 winners, things could have been a whole lot better with an ounce of luck.
“I’ve had nearly 40 seconds and if that would have been 30 wins and 30 placings it would have been a great season. That’s just luck in the draw and little things here and there but we’ll just keep ticking along and hopefully we can finish off strongly,” he said.
“We have a few more horses on our books, including some young ones which is exciting for the future.”
Lane has three runners at Thursday’s Winter Warm Up race day and believes they are all chances.
“I think they can all go well, and it would be great to another winner or two on the home track,” he said.
Lane would love to see Johnny Roo Boy greet the judge in the 1100m Benchmark 64 for long time owners the Hirsch family from Victoria.
His first winner Benny Blue Eyes in 2012 was for the late Jack and Eddie Hirsch and he went on to train Pirate Ben for them who has won eight races, including three metropolitan wins and a Taree Cup.
“They’ve been my longest owners and I’ve got eight of their horses in work at the moment,” Lane said. “They’ve been good to me and it’s always good to get a winner for them.
“Johnny Roo Boy is a bit older now and took a couple of runs to get fit, but his last run was really good. He drew wide and got caught wide for the trip. “Jason Collett rode him, and he thought had he drawn a gate he would have been right there in the finish. With the rain that’s come it will be even better because he likes a wet track and he’ll get a claim with Chris Williams.”
Lane also expects three-year-old Dream Ahead filly Oakfield Gettem to be a strong chance in the 1100m Maiden Plate.
Having just her third race start, the three-year-old was well beaten at Gosford last start but Lane said there were excuses.
“She went really well at her first start on debut at Newcastle and finished second,” he said.
“At Gosford she knuckled down out of the gates and Grant Buckley said she took fright when that happened, over raced and was left wanting at the finish.
“Going on her first start she’s will to be right in it. She’s been working well, and we’ve put a tongue tie on her, which won’t hurt her.”
“I accepted in the 1000m and 1100m but think the 1100m is an easier option, she’s drawn one and Tim Clark will ride her.”
Completing Lane’s trio of runners is former Darley galloper Cajun Music, who lines up in the 2100m Class 1 and Maiden.
The Bernadini gelding was purchased by a syndicate who previously raced Patinage with Lane and while he admits the three-year-old has been disappointing he’s not ready to throw in the towel.
“The boys bred with Patinage and she’s had a foal, and is in foal again,” he said. “They wanted something to play around with until her foals get to the races, so we bought this horse off Darley.
“He hasn’t lived up to expectations, but I haven’t given up on him because he needs to mature and get over a distance.
“He’s a horse that wants two miles, an out and out one batter, but I think getting up to 2100m will suit him and he should be able to run some sort of race.
“Serg (Lisnny) will ride him and he will suit the sting out of the ground too, so I give him a chance.”
Race 1 – 12pm: WWW.TAB.COM.AU MAIDEN HANDICAP (1100m): 1 ALART THE PRESS, 2 Skillet, 3 Oakfield Gettem, 4 Miss Kokkinakis.
Race 2 – 12.35pm: CANADIAN CLUB MAIDEN PLATE (1000m): 1 CAESURA, 2 Magic Town, 3 Tell No Tales, 4 Brazen Saint.
Race 3 – 1.10pm: WRC MEMBERSHIP ONLY $55 4YO&UP MAIDEN HANDICAP (1600m): 1 HIGH FLIGHT, 2 Dominica Gold, 3 Golden Creek, 4 Braidwood Gold.
Race 4 – 1.50pm: DE BORTOLI WINES MAIDEN PLATE (1350m): 1 HIDDEN HILLS, 2 Heimberg, 3 I’m Kate, 4 Monterey Lad.
Race 5 – 2.25pm: OVER THE LINE RACING CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (2100m): 1 KILLER INSTINCT, 2 Our Candidate, 3 Prince Camelot, 4 Loves To Rock.
Race 6 – 3.05pm: FAREWELL WRC CHAIRMAN GARRY WHITAKER BM 64 HANDICAP (1100m): 1 ONLY WANNA SING, 2 Quick Nick, 3 Siege Warfare, 4 Dame Kiri.
Race 7 – 3.40pm: GREAT NORTHERN ON TAP F&M CLASS 2 HANDICAP (1350m): 1 BELLA DE VEGA, 2 Singing Sand, 3 Romantic Whisper, 4 Gloriosa.
Race 8 – 4.20pm: WYONG NEXT MEETING THURSDAY JUNE 20 CG&E CLASS 2 HANDICAP (1350m): 1 RULING SYMBOL, 2 Pinvincible, 3 Rheingua, 4 Bugalugs.