3 June 2022

Tim Donnelly hopes experienced Lunar Shoes can feature in The Lamont Classic

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man and horse

Trainer Tim Donnelly backs galloper Lunar Shoes for Friday’s Lamont Classic at Murrumbidgee Turf Club. Photo: Supplied.

Wagga Wagga thoroughbred trainer Tim Donnelly hopes experience counts when his galloper Lunar Shoes takes to the track for Friday’s $29,000 The Lamont Classic at Murrumbidgee Turf Club.

The Odyssey Moon gelding (out of Quetee Shoes) will contest the 1300 m event for two-year-olds, facing five debutants and three other gallopers.

“He definitely has an advantage, especially over 1300 m,” Donnelly said.

“It’s hard for any horse over 1300 m first up, let alone two-year-olds and after his two runs, he is fit and going well.”

The youngster has raced twice and finished fourth on debut at Wagga on 5 May.

He missed the kick on that particular day for jockey Kayla Nisbet but stormed home to finish 2.75 lengths off eventual winner Kimberly Secrets in the 1000 m Maiden Handicap.

At Albury on 23 May, Lunar Shoes began well for Nisbet and was locked in a three-way battle before eventually finishing third, beaten by 0.46 of a length by Greek Tycoon in the 1182 Maiden Plate.

“At his first start, he missed the kick and chased well and he probably would have been better being a pair back at Albury,” Donnelly said.

“He hit the front and didn’t know what to do, but he is still young and they were older horses and the horse that won his race had placed four times from four starts, so it was always going to be hard.”

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Donnelly said Lunar Shoes is tracking strong so far.

“He has done really well. He is a strong horse for a two-year-old and he has some size and strength about him, that’s for sure,” he said.

“There’s not really anything you look for with these young ones, but it is more about how they cope with it. You just see how they handle things and it really depends on maturity.

“He was always a strong horse, even as a yearling. I have got quite a few two-year-olds this year, but he is one of only two that have made it to the races this year.”

Already planning his next assault with Lunar Shoes, Donnelly said a win in Friday’s feature at Wagga would almost guarantee a trip to town for the Galloway-family bred and owned galloper.

“If he wins, I am going to take him to town. There is a 1400-m on 18 July in Sydney (Rosehill Gardens),” he said.

“He may not be up to city class just yet, but at least he has had the experience if he goes, and then we can come back next year and race him in the Highways.

“Plus, it is a good time of year because the good ones are up north or spelling, and you always run into something that is okay, but it’s not as strong racing right now.”

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Wagga is currently rated a heavy nine in track firmness on a scale up to 10 after the recent wet weather. Donnelly expects that to stay the same for Friday’s eight-race program, which kicks off at noon.

“I am just about to go and walk the track but I expect it will be a genuine heavy nine,” Donnelly said.

The Lamont Classic is one of Murrumbidgee Turf Club’s newest feature races, and while the race has only been run on six occasions, the event for two-year-olds has already proven to be a springboard for success and it looks to be a race trainers want to win.

City performer Vee Eight for Goulburn trainer Danny Williams won the inaugural Lamont Classic in 2016.

In 2017 eventual city winner Up Trumpz, a horse that has since won more than $300,000 in prize money, won the race. In 2020 the Lamont Classic was taken out by Country Championships winner and popular Wagga galloper Another One, now a winner of six races and $750,000 in prize money for Wagga trainer Gary Colvin.

Original Article published by Chris Roe on About Regional.

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