IT will provide the shortest-priced favourite of the four $100,000 Regional Championships contested around New South Wales this week.
Yet Friday night’s Riverina Regional Championship at the Wagga track has to be the most anticipated of all the regions involved.
That’s because it threatens to produce the horse with the biggest future . . . four-year-old pacer Whereyabinboppin.
Such is his turn of foot that even the draw will probably not make much difference to the result as the David Kennedy-trained and Jackson Painting-driven pacer hasn’t tasted defeat for almost two years – and that was when he was beaten at Geelong, long before he came under the care of Kennedy.
His two starts at the Riverina Paceway have resulted in two wins by a combined margin of almost 60-metres and he again threatens to blow them away this week after two weeks cooling his heels at Kennedy’s Leeton stables.
Whereyabinboppin is not foolproof and Kennedy admits he gets on his knees to a degree when he races.
So, he has overcome that by adding ‘spreaders’ to his gear although Kennedy maintains Whereyabinboppin doesn’t particularly like having them on.
“But it’s worked out OK so far,” said the trainer who learned most of his tricks of the trade from champion New Zealand trainer Barry Purdon, after a stint working for the elder brother of Mark Purdon in The Shaky Isles about 15 years ago.
Despite the fact he zipped away to win his Championship heat by a mere 32.7 metres, Kennedy still believes that Whereyabinboppin could be even better come Friday night.
“Jack [Painting] thinks that he switches off a bit and loses a bit of interest when his rivals drop off,” said Kennedy.
“He has had his last two races just about won when he has reached the back straight.
“This horse has such high speed I really think bad luck could be the only real trouble that could cost him the final.”
And Kennedy probably knows his biggest danger is likely to be there in his own backyard.
Western Sonador, trained by Ellen Bartley and driven by the Riverina’s other gun reinsman Blake Jones, looks the biggest danger to Whereyabinboppin.
“Jack and I train 10-12 horses on our property and Ellen and Blake train their team from there too,” said Kennedy.
“We all help each other out of a morning and together put between 25 and 28 horses through their paces there.
“After Friday night’s race we would be happy to go to Menangle or wherever with Whereyabinboppin. “With a horse like this you have to travel to chase the bigger prizemoney.”