Tumut owner Jeff Kelleher will be living the dream on Saturday as he makes the four-hour trip to Royal Randwick to watch his horse Euro Rhythmic make her metropolitan debut.
Competing in the first event, the 1000m TAB Highway Handicap, Euro Rhythmic has drawn gate 11 and will call on the services of the talented hoop, James Innes Jnr.
The Norm Gardner runner has been in a good stretch of form, having won her maiden at Queanbeyan on December 12 before backing up for her second win at the Sapphire Coast on February 15.
What makes the day all the more special, is that it will be Kelleher’s first city runner and it will happen on Chipping Norton race day, one of the biggest race days in NSW.
“I’m stoked, it’s bloody unreal,” Kelleher said.
“Our first runner in Sydney and its on Chipping Norton Stakes day; a day that has two Group One races, three Group Twos and a Group Three, you can’t ask for much more than that.”
The former greyhound enthusiast joked that he had already tasted more success with his first two horses after years of chasing a decent dishlicker.
“After how many years involved in the greyhounds, I never got anything like this, and to get it basically first time around; it’s awesome,” Kelleher said.
Kelleher will be making a weekend of it too, travelling up for the race and soaking up as much of the experience as possible.
“Yes, it’s only a (TAB) Highway but who cares, it’s still Sydney,” he said.
“I am making a weekend of it, I will go up Saturday and come back Sunday, it could be a once in a lifetime experience.”
The three-year-old Eurozone filly is one of the outsiders in the event, currently sitting at $50 a win and $13 a place, but that certainly didn’t dampen Kelleher’s enthusiasm.
“I slipped a couple of dollars each way at fifties and $13 a place and we will wait and see what happens from here,” Kelleher laughed.
Kelleher, who races two horses with Gardner, explained just how easy it was to get involved with the Canberra trainer.
“It’s pretty easy, it’s just a matter of getting in contact and it was a pretty easy transition after that initial contact,” Kelleher said.
“Norm is very much a race day kind of guy, he is good bloke to sit down and have a yarn with.
“He is very approachable and lets me know what I need to know.”
Gardner, who has been in a rich run of form for Tumut owners of late, didn’t discount Euro Rhythmic’s chances, suggesting she would be a chance if she could find the lead.
“She is rough each way chance,” Gardner said.
“It really depends on how she runs, if she leads, she will go close, but if she doesn’t, well she might be there for a gallop.”