Friday, 1 June 2012
: Trainer Michael Lakey is pinning his hopes of winning Sunday's Murwillumbah Cup Prelude on a change of racing gear for feisty charge and topweight Kevejon.
“We took the blinkers off last time and tried the ear muffs on him, and Alexandra Kitson who rides for me came off him saying he was more relaxed,” said Deagon-based Lakey.
“He was closing on them late, and the ear muffs just helped him settle early in the run.
“His 1800m form is very good, and Alexandra won on him a few starts back at the Gold Coast over the trip.
“We tried him over longer – we put him over 10 furlongs (2000m) once but he pulled too hard, so we're just trying to get him to settle better so he can get the extra ground.
“We're aiming for the Murwillumbah Cup, that's our thinking.”
A currentl track rating of a Slow 6 should please Lakey as Kevejon lacks a single placing after eleven dry-track runs.
“His stats speak for themselves – his heavy track form is very good, he's a total wet tracker," Lakey said.
“Still, he's finishing within three lengths of them on dry tracks in races that are a touch higher in class so what's he going to do with some give in the ground?”
Kevejon is a $3.50 favourite in early betting markets. Other chances include Lughaat ($5.50) and the Ian Savins trained Blissful Honour ($4.00).
Sunday's other feature is the 1200m Newmarket Prelude and boasts a previous winner in the Trevor Whittington trained Editave.
The son of Zeditave took out last year's race on a track rated a Heavy 10.
Other favoured runners include Funny Falve and the Danny Bowen trained Haslington who was run down in the last stride to finish runner-up in last week's Casino Beef Week Cup.
The winners of Sunday's Prelude races are automatic qualifiers for the $28,250 Casella Wines Murwillumbah Cup and the $18,150 Sky Gold Murwillumbah Newmarket.
Tradition dictates that the Ballina Jockey Club hosts the Murwillumbah Cup Preview, to be run this year on Friday 15 June.
The Preview is the last chance for an automatic passage to the 2012 Murwillumbah Cup on 24 June.