Today’s Ballina Cup meeting kicks off the spring circuit of country cup’s throughout New South Wales after the Byron Bay Cup meeting had to be abandoned a week and a half ago.
There are a good group of provincial level horses likely to be following the route across the state and trainer Shane Randall is one man looking for some early success.
It could well be the last opportunity for his eight year old gelding Going Fine to push his career earnings into triple figures.
Despite his age though the horse really is still going fine with a last start win at Casino in the Casino Cup getting the new season off to a cracking start.
He comes into the Ballina Cup today with some good support however Randall is only cautious at best about his horses chances.
Going Fine has won on both heavy and slow tracks but there’s no doubt he’s at his best running on top of the ground.
“I give him some hope, only downfall we have is the wet surface,” Randall said.
“I’d like to see it come back to dead, I’d give him a genuine chance if he could get bit of footing.”
When Going Fine last came to Ballina and found a good surface he ran a close second, since then though he’s only found soft tracks with the exception of his trip to Listed level at Grafton..
“His last start was his first on a decent track this time in besides the Ramornie,” Randall said.
“He’s a good little horse, he’s got a lot of heart.”
The weather is clear over Ballina at the moment but the track is still rated a slow 6 meaning it’d need to improve for Randall to rate his charger a winning hope.
“On a slow 6 I don’t think I’m a great chance but on a dead or a good think I am,” he said.
There’s a chance of an upgrade into the dead ranges later in the day but that will only be part of the luck he needs in pushing forward from a tricky barrier 12.
“He’s a natural free rolling horse, the other day he got to dictate once he got in front and relax a bit,” Randall said.
There is a field of 17 lining up for the Ballina Cup today including highly performed top weight Ausworld for Pat Duff.