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Image: Steve Hart

Queanbeyan trainer Todd Blowes is daring to dream of a fruitful Autumn with his promising galloper Noble Boy, who kicks off his Country Championships prep in the TAB Highway (1200m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday.

The son of Bon Hoffa hasn’t raced since scoring an impressive Highway win at Rosehill on December 1, where his last 600m was five lengths quicker than anything else in the race, including another leading Country Championships contender in Coup De Main. The trainer is more than happy with the horse and how he’s doing since that outing.

“He’s come back into the stable really well,” Blowes told Justhorseracing.

“He had 20 days in the paddock, put on a few kilos, 10 days on the water walker and has been in the stable since the start of January.

“He had a good gallop on the course proper with a Joe Cleary runner, Cliff, and easily accounted for him.

“I’m happy with how he’s looking heading into this campaign.”

That campaign starts this Saturday at Warwick Farm in the Highway, with potentially the best ever Highway to date, with the likes of Coup De Main, Highway Sixtysix and I Am A Cool Kid nominated. Blowes is under no illusions of the depth he’ll likely face this weekend, before heading to the Gouburn Qualifier on March 2.

“Yeah it looks to be a pretty deep race.

“But I’m happy with my horse and am confident he’ll go close before going to Goulburn.”

The forecast is for potential rain to hit the track in the days leading into and on Saturday, and if that forecast is correct, the up and coming trainer has no qualms about Noble Boy on a track with give in it.

“I galloped him one morning at Queanbeyan when the track was bottomless and he got it through it easily so if the track was wet on Saturday I wouldn’t be too concerned.”

So, how does Blowes assess the horse and his chances leading into the weekend?

“The horse is 90-95% in terms of fitness and condition. But looking at the noms, will that be enough to win? Have to wait and see but the horse is doing everything right and he’s in great order for what lies ahead.”

With James McDonald riding at Caulfield, Hugh Bowman has been booked to ride.

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