VETERAN Rosehill trainer Mick Hood has started horses at country tracks throughout the state and tomorrow, weather permitting, heads to Port Macquarie with two horses for the first time.
Hood will start Bid For Gold, a horse he has an opinion of, in the John Oxley Volkswagen Three Year Old Maiden (1106m) and Tiaan in the Riding For The Disabled Maiden (1206m).
Blake Spriggs, who booted home a winner for Kris Lees at Wyong last Saturday, will ride both horses.
Stewards will inspect the track later today to determine if the meeting will go ahead.
Hood originally planned for Bid For Gold, an unraced filly by Octagonal, to make her debut at Canterbury last Friday night.
“We decided that Port Macquarie was an easier option,” Hood’s son Stephen, the stable foreman and a trainer in his own right, said.
“Dad really likes this filly and we decided the experience of a trip up the highway would do her the world of good and this is a race she can win.
“She is raced by Allan Chiswick who has been one of Dad’s best clients and he loves his horses going to country meetings.
“He is coming to Port Macquarie with us. In fact he is driving us up.
“I don’t know why we haven’t been to Port Macquarie before but it is something we are putting right now.
“These races suited our horses and the fact you are getting rain up there makes it even better.
“Both horses love the sting out of the ground.
“If this trip goes well we could become regulars when there is a race to suit.
“We are leaving at four o’clock on Tuesday morning and should have the horses up there by about nine.
“Marc Quinn has promised us two boxes they can go into to rest.”
Bid For Gold has trialled twice, winning her second trial at Rosehill last October over 900 metres in a smart 54.20 seconds.
“She is a filly that has taken time to mature and Dad does not like to rush them,” Hood said.
The stable's other runner, Tiaan, is resuming and last preparation ran third to Toffler in a maiden over 1350 metres at Wyong beaten two lengths.
Toffler then went on to win at Warwick Farm at his next start.
“That is good form for a country maiden,” Hood said.
Trainer Neil Godbolt admits he is going to be in an awkward situation with Never Doubt Me should the mare win the tab.com.au Open (1206m).
“If she wins she is virtually weighted out of country racing yet she is not good enough for the city,” Godbolt said.
“Her rating is too high for the Queen Of The North and there are few races in the country that will suit her.
“The problem is that every time she wins she gets rated on the same level as a horse that wins in the city.
“Unfortunately I may be forced to sell her.”
The $50,000 Partinack Farm Queen Of The North (1200m), a Benchmark 75, will be run at Port Macquarie on February 15.
1-1.15, TAB.COM.AU OPEN, 1206m: NEVER DOUBT ME 1, Save A Buck 2, Danes Bullet 3, Getyourown 4.
2-1.50, JOHN OXLEY VOLKSWAGEN 3YO MAIDEN, 1106m: BID FOR GOLD 1, Dollydidit 2, Time To Excite 3, Zing Zang Ziva 4.
3-2.25, MONACO CONSUL BENCHMARK 60, 1106m: AZZALIN 1, Hidden Woman 2, Miss January 3, Grand Feeling 4.
5-3.35, QUEEN OF THE NORTH 15 FEB CLASS ONE, 1006m: STARDUST WARRIOR 1, Sal’s My Mum 2, No More Idols 3, Ahbelle 4.
6-4.10, CARLTON MID MAIDEN, 1506m: PENDARIE 1, Lord Peter 2, Gina ‘N’ Adelina 3, Hughes Dews 4.
7-4.45, PATINACK FARM BENCHMARK 55, 1506m: ART DELAGO 1, Please Be Gentle 2, Epic Voyage 3, Doofunny 4.
8-5.20, TAB.COM.AU CLASS TWO, 1206m: CULTURAL 1, Chikabi 2, Silva Canadian 3, Rigamarole 4.
Best Bets: Never Doubt Me, Cultural.