Berrigan trainer, Shilleagh MeyerVale, along with her husband and long-time Southern Districts jockey, Bradley Vale, will bring a team of three gallopers to the Tumut Mile meeting on Saturday.
Vale will ride all three horses for MeyerVale, which she believes gives her runners a distinct advantage.
“Brad rides all of our horses at home, knows all of them and rides most of them on race days,” MeyerVale said.
“All my horses have little issues and secrets and he knows them all.”
MeyerVale is confident of a strong showing at Tumut, despite not having attended a meeting there for some time.
“I’ve not had very many runners there and I haven’t been there for a couple of years,” MeyerVale said.
“We are definitely going there with confidence and they should all be thereabouts in the end.”
The pair will combine in the feature event, with Narelle going around as one of the bottom weights in the $15,000 Tumut Mile.
The eight-year-old is a winner of three races in Victoria, and is only three starts into her NSW campaign with MeyerVale.
“She hasn’t had many starts for us, she was outclassed down at Cranbourne, so the owner decided to bring her up here and run her in the Riverina area and see if she has a bit more left in her,” MerVale said.
On her best form, the Bramshaw mare is a chance, after wins at Mornington, Cranbourne and Stony Creek, but MeyerVale explained that she was still getting used to the NSW way of going.
“She is tiny, but she is still trying. I think at her first start at Corowa, she didn’t particularly like the firm ground, then she went around the Wagga and it was heavy, and that didn’t suit her; we kind of want something in the middle,” MeyerVale said.
“She probably likes the Victorian way of going better, but she has been working well at home and we hope she can gain some confidence at Tumut.”
MeyerVale also has last-start Gundagai winner, Simply Skilful, contesting the 1400m Class Two Handicap.
The former Chris Heywood runner took some time to win her maiden, and connections are confident she can keep winning at Tumut.
“We have been trying to work her out, we have had her for about nine starts now. Chris (Heywood) gave her to us, and she just wasn’t quite happy in her environment,” MeyerVale said.
“She took a while to show us something, but she ran fourth at Narrandera, and it was a good run and we gave her a spell.
“She started to get fat pretty quick, so we got her back in work, and the run before at Wagga, she showed us she was coming good, and she cruised along and won well at Gundagai.”
Arguably MeyerVale’s best chance is Nessledo, who takes on the 1200m Class One Handicap after recent placings at Albury and Gundagai.
“I would like to think she will win; she has been performing super and when you look at her sectionals, she should be winning,” MeyerVale said.
“She has just been so unfortunate in her races; she is a rock-hard horse and very fit and she needs to get out and show that on the race track and get a win.”
Vale was looking forward to the chance to ride at Tumut, with the 2012 Cup-winning jockey enjoying some success on the tight-turning course over the years.
“It’s good to ride at Tumut, certain jockeys will ride better at bush meetings than for the full TAB meetings and that is more of the quality of horses they are on,” Vale said.
“I’ve had some luck there. I’ve won the cup once, I rode Thetoppie, and placed on him again later on.”
Vale thought his best chance of a winner would be Simply Skilful though, after guiding her to a win at Gundagai.
“My best chance is definitely the one the won her maiden last start, she should go close,” Vale said.
“Nessledo has to be close to winning too, she has placed two times in a row and is going good,” Vale said.