• Racing Tips
    It’s like waiting for Christmas morning It’s like waiting for Christmas morning

    NATHAN XUEREB driving Bella Clare to victory at Tabcorp Park Menangle - Photo Ashlea Brennan

    COUNTING down to Friday’s Bathurst meeting is akin to waiting for Christmas morning for concession driver Nathan Xuereb. While a decade ago a young... It’s like waiting for Christmas morning

    COUNTING down to Friday’s Bathurst meeting is akin to waiting for Christmas morning for concession driver Nathan Xuereb.

    While a decade ago a young Xuereb would have been anxiously praying for Santa to deliver the latest craze toy or a trail bike come December 25, Xuereb the reinsman is keenly watching the clock in preparation for the provincial meeting.

    What sets this race card aside for Xuereb is it marks his Group One debut.

    To make the occasion twice as exciting, Xuereb has two top shelf commitments.

    “I cannot wait for Friday night,” Xuereb said. “To be driving in one Group One let alone two is amazing.

    “I speak for all trainers and drivers when I say this is the reason we wake up every morning, no matter how bad we are travelling, and fight another day to only hope these days will eventually come…well for me it has!

    “No matter the outcome I couldn’t be more appreciative of driving these fillies in Group Ones.

    “It is something I have always dreamt about and now I just hope I can get good results for all the people involved.”

    Xuereb’s maiden Group One appearance will take place in the Gold Bracelet Final when he partners Bella Clare.

    Prepared by Xuereb’s father, Michael, Bella Clare has drawn to figure prominently from the pole, which has seen her listed as a $5 third favourite with TAB Fixed Odds.

    The daughter of Art Major gained a berth in the $104,000 decider with a handy fourth in her heat.

    “She was a bit unlucky in her heat as I came out of the gate with her but couldn’t get across, so then I had to restrain her,” Xuereb said. “After that she had to do a little more work than I wanted, but she stuck on well.

    “Drawing the pole is big advantage to us as we’ve got a few options to pick from.

    “I believe she can be right there in the finish.”

    Xuereb will then combine with the Katie McGill-trained Katalytic, which has drawn barrier seven in the Gold Tiara Final.

    The rank outsider at $151 with TAB Fixed Odds, Katalytic earned a start in the feature with her eye-catching third in her qualifier.

    “Katalytic is going to need a fair bit of luck,” Xuereb said. “That said, every time she has stepped foot on a race track she has improved.

    “She ran a good honest race in her heat and deserves to be in the Final.

    “Seven is a bit tricky as it’s not an easy draw for any horse of any ability, so I will be driving her for luck and hoping the speed is on which should see her finishing strongly.”

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    Paul Courts

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