The drought has finally broken for Lismore’s answer to Strawberry Road – Lucap – who can thank a December deluge for granting him the wet track that he so desperately requires at home on Tuesday.
The Daniel Bowen trained gelding has raced 16 times on “good” tracks for no wins and no placings.
Contrast that with his record on “heavy”, five starts for two wins and two seconds.
Tuesday’s TAB.com.au Benchmark 58 Handicap (1310m) will be the first time since he won at Ballina on July 14 that Lucap has raced on a heavy track.
“It looks like he is jumping out of the ground when he wins on these heavy tracks but he is just running his 36 seconds,’’ Bowen explained.
“He doesn’t get any faster, he just keeps going in it.’’
Lucap will only have a maximum of five rivals in Tuesday’s mission and with the services of Noriyuki Masuda who has already ridden him to win twice.
The only potential caveat is a slight query over Lucap’s fitness levels given the recent downpour on the New South Wales north-coast caused some disruption to his usual training routine.
“If he hadn’t missed some work because of the rain I would be supremely confident,’’ Bowen said.
“He missed a few days (work) and a gallop but we got a gallop into him on Sunday and he should be hard to beat on wet tracks from here on in.’’
Bowen has three other red-hot chances joining Lucap at Lismore – Kidlat, Flick and Antilia.
Kidlat should relish the opportunity to stretch himself out to a longer trip when he tackles the Clydesdale Motel Class 2 Handicap (1526m) after consecutive runs over 1260m at Ballina.
“He has a long time off and it took a few runs to get fit again,’’ says Bowen,
“He was probably ready to do something last start but they didn’t have the right race for him and I had to run him in a short race again which wasn’t to but he still ran an all-right race.
“Up in distance and drawn a gate, he should go forward on Tuesday. He could improve dramatically that horse.’’
Kidlat races in the same colours as his exact namesake by Snippets, whose 13 wins for owner Gundaroo and trainer John Morrisey included the 1998 Ramornie Handicap at Grafton.
Bowen and Gundaroo are also represented on today’s Lismore card by Flick who won at Ballina on November 2 but had her share of excuses there 11-days when a distant fourth in the mile Class 1.
“We were going to go back on her that day but she got trapped wide and made a move from the 1400m and she worked pretty hard and was entitled to stop but she fought on and ran fourth,’’ Bowen said.
“She has had a freshen and her work was good on Sunday.’’
As for Antilia, the daughter of noted wet track sire, Not A Single Doubt is well placed to win a depleted Christmas Cup (1410m).
“When I had a good run with her last time in, they were all on wet tracks,’’ Bowen said.