January 11, 2022 National Trotguide
IT’S been an 11-year ‘drought’ but Tamworth trainer-driver Anthony Varga is hot on the trail of his win in the Pub Group Gold Nugget since 2011.
The $10,000 Pub Group Gold Nugget race will be the feature race at the Tamworth Harness Racing Club meeting tonight (Tuesday), heralding the opening of the Tamworth Harness Racing Club’s January racing carnival.
Varga took out the Pub Group Gold Nugget with Any Cause, trained and raced by Anthony Mabbott that magic year.
Rolling forward to 2022 and Varga has his own pacer in last-start winner Somebeachsomegift in the feature race, which offers a gold nugget, worth almost $2000 as the trophy at the Tamworth Paceway.
Varga races Somebeachsomegift with his partner Denna Burns, his mother Noelene and first-time owners and nephews Mitchell Simmonds and Rhys Davis.
“The race was over the longer distance of 2360 metres when Any Cause won and this year, we will be running over 1980 metres,” said Varga.
“This may be my last chance to get my hands on that gold nugget as an owner and trainer myself.”
Varga has taken the bold move with nominating Somebeachsomegift out of class.
“It will be a good tester to see if he is up for the Golden Guitar heats on the Sunday,” said Varga.
The eight-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding comes off a last-start win at Tamworth on January 6, with a solid run in taking out the Hygain Tracktorque Pace.
“I had to take off a little earlier than I wanted in the race,” said Varga.
“But my horse does have a good turn of foot.”
Somebeachsomegift went on for a 6.4 metre win over a fast-finishing Overthemoon (Tom Ison) with Beachboy Butch (Blake Hughes) a neck away third in a 1:58.7 mile rate.
“That was a pretty good mile rate for 1980 metres,” said Varga.
“He is out of class but he has drawn the three in the nugget race.
“I would have preferred the one or two barrier but we will have to wait and see what the Queensland horses do.”
Queensland trainer Graham Dwyer has four runners engaged in the $10,000 feature and will take the reins behind Valencia from the one barrier.
“I think my horse is racing at his best at the moment but I feel there is a bit more to come and racing weekly will show some improvement as well,” said Varga.
“The local horses look like they have a good chance – it is a nice race to start the carnival off.”
Varga is also showing he is keen to win the race, sponsored by the Pub Group, his favourite social meeting place.
“That pub is my watering hole so if I did win the nugget, it would take pride and place, for sure,” he grinned.
“It is a race that is hard to judge on paper, but everyone has a chance.”
Other local runners are the Neil Kliendienst-trained Rolamax (Brad Elder), the Dean Chapple-trained and driven Asterism, the Andy Ison-trained and Tom Ison driven I’m Compliant, who will all join Somebeachsomegift off the front line.
- JULIE MAUGHAN