Trainer says both his runners can win Ken Howard Cup
SCONE trainer Rodney Northam is bringing an in-form horse and out-of-form runner to the opening day of Coffs Harbour's two-day carnival tomorrow.
He's warned punters though that either was capable of winning the Coffs Harbour Office Choice Ken Howard Cup over 2,300m.
He's Dreamin' hasn't won this campaign but has been a model of consistency with four placings from his past four starts, while Space Invader has barely run past a horse at his last two runs.
"He's doing very well and I think he'll enjoy the two-week break after having two races in two weeks on heavy tracks," Northam said.
"He just loves racing, he thrives on it.
"It looks like a nice race for him to win and I think he'll enjoy running on the soft track."
Robert Thompson takes to ride on the six-year-old and will have specific instructions to save as much petrol as possible.
"He's a bit of a tricky horse to ride. He's only got a short 200-metre sprint then he flattens out after that," Northam said.
"At his past few starts he's sprinted on the home turn then just couldn't finish it off, but Robert's ridden him a number of times now and will wait as long as he can before letting him go."
Space Invader has been a victim of the constant wet tracks to plague the state this winter, but with a promising forecast, the Soft 7 surface will improve and bring him back into the race. All five of his career wins have been on good or firm surfaces.
"He's struggling this preparation because he just doesn't run well on the wet tracks," Northam said.
"It has been a bit of a disaster for him because he needs it drier and hopefully the track keeps drying out. He's fit, has worked well and is now getting up to the distance he likes.
"I'm confident one of mine can get the job done and in those small fields it's often the outsider that gets up, so I wouldn't rule out Space Invader."
The first race at Coffs Harbour tomorrow is the Ken Howard Cup which is scheduled to jump at 12:51pm.