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John Bateman is keeping expectations in check during the lead-up to Lofty’s Menu’s tilt at the $100,000 SERA Country Championships Qualifier at Goulburn.

Despite the lure of a first or second placing getting Lofty’s Menu into the $400,000 Country Championship Final at Randwick on April 2, Bateman is taking things one step at a time.

“Really, it’s just another day at the office,” Bateman said.

“I’m not nervous or anything. My horse is in good order. That’s all I’m worried about.”

Bateman worked for Guy Walter and was stable foreman for the leading trainer’s satellite set-up at Goulburn.

When Walter died suddenly in 2014, Bateman took out his trainer’s licence and Lofty’s Menu has come the full circle to be under his care.

The lightly raced five-year-old was pre-trained by Bateman for Walter and then Wendy Walter before a transfer to the Snowden stable at Randwick.

Lofty’s Menu returned to Bateman last year after a bleeding attack and won first-up in September.

He resumed to win again at Canberra for Blake Shinn, but Paul King takes over on Saturday.

Meanwhile, months of meticulous planning from Greg Bennett goes under the microscope in Sunday’s $100,000 H&NWRA Country Championships Qualifier at Scone.

Scone-based Bennett will have four runners – Chivadahlii (Blake Spriggs), All Summer Long (Blake Shinn), Clearly Innocent (Tommy Berry) and Invienna (Christian Reith).

“All the horses have progressed as expected. I think I’ve got them all cherry ripe for the day,” Bennett said.

 
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