Trainer Andrew Dale will set a new benchmark for himself with 13 starters across each of the seven races at Albury on Friday.
Dale, his son Frazer and their staff will be kept on their toes with not only a record number of stable runners, but also some outright favourites.
Not since the halcyon days of the great training maestro, the late Richard Freyer, and multiple premiership winner Brett Cavanough has one trainer produce so many starters at a local meeting.
Dale hopes large numbers turn into winners and he will commence the program with one of his best winning hopes in Mojo Music in the Wello’s Plumbing Class 1 (1000m).
“This is only his third start and last time when he ran second he got to the front a bit earlier than we expected and wanted to look about,” he said.
“I’m hoping he can be ridden a fraction quieter behind the speed and finish off too well for them.
“The topweight Flying Finch looks the hardest to beat, has drawn the inside gate and is always close up.”
It’s not only Flying Finch, but also last start winner Openhimup and Tap ‘n’ Run that shape as serious threats in the field of nine.
Openhimup took 17 starts to win his maiden at Albury at his latest start, but he has always promised to win more than his share of races.
Tap ‘n’ Run will be having his third start back from a spell for Albury trainer Ron Stubbs and is drawn to gain the perfect run from gate two.
Dale will have three contenders in the Pogson Cronin Solicitors Class 2 (1600m) where last start Albury winner Heimberg appears the best of his hopefuls.
Stablemate Fromista finished off strongly to run fourth behind Heimberg at Albury on August 17 and has since finished second at Berrigan.
Diss ‘N’ Dat is rated as the outsider of Dale’s trio with the trainer believing Heimberg has the potential to win his share of races in country class.
The former New Zealand-trained galloper has previously been trained by Joseph Pride in Sydney and Gordon Richards in South Australia.
Dale is trainer number four and so far Heimberg has raced twice under his care for a win and a third: “He won a Class 1 with 59 kilos over 1400 metres last start and will carry the same weight in a Class 2,” Dale said.
Leading jockey Brodie Loy will ride Mojo Music and Heimberg, while Shaun Guymer will have five mounts for the stable. His best chance of success for Dale could be with Chairman’s Choice in the EBA Hire Benchmark 58 (900m).
Chairman’s Choice has raced five times since joining the Dale stable for a win, three seconds and a third. The six-year-old finished strongly to run second at Wangaratta last start seven days after winning at Wodonga.
“He has been very consistent and the shorter distance races are suiting him,” he said.
Dale has 25 horses in training at Wangaratta with more than half of the stable racing at Albury and Wodonga on Monday. His son Frazer and stable staff are playing a huge role in the day-to-day operations.
“Frazer is my assistant trainer and has worked for Peter Snowden as a racing manager and also spent time as a trainee steward so he is a big part of what we do,” he said.
The trainer feels Mojo Music and Heimberg are his best chances of winning a race, but knows luck always plays a big part in producing results.
“They are a good group of horses and most will race again at Corowa in two weeks time,” he said. “I have a good opinion of Mojo Music and there are few other good chances there as well.”
Words: Brent Godde
Image: The Border Mail