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Apprentice Nick Heywood will have extra incentive to win on Leucura when the country galloper returns to city racing.

Heywood, a rising star among Sydney’s apprentice ranks who is on the verge of outriding his 3kg city claim, has five rides at Canterbury on Wednesday.

And his father, Wagga Wagga trainer Chris Heywood, is hoping the 21-year-old can achieve the milestone on Leucura.

Leucura steps up to midweek class after ending a frustrating run in feature races on country tracks in winning the Parkes Cup last month.

Heywood was apprenticed to his father in the Riverina before making the move to Sydney to join Peter and Paul Snowden towards the end of last season.

It’s been a successful switch, highlighted by his five winners at a recent Newcastle meeting as he bids for his 20th metropolitan victory on Wednesday.

“It would be a nice touch if Nick could win on Leucura,” his father said.

“For him to outride part of his city claim on a horse I train would be pretty special.

“And I’m glad Nick is on him because he knows the horse so well and that will help in what looks like a tricky race to work out.”

Leucura gave Heywood one of his first noteworthy wins, scoring in a support race during the 2015 Wagga Wagga Gold Cup carnival.

A winner of seven races, Leucura will be given his first chance against city opposition in the Schweppes Handicap since finishing down the course in an unsuitable race at Canterbury at the corresponding meeting last year.

“The horse is in form, the jockey is in form and we’re going OK as a stable so I’m hoping it will be worth the trip,” Heywood snr said.

Leucura is a $16 chance with the Snowden stable’s Secret Trail rated the apprentice’s best mount.

Secret Trail resumed after a two-start Queensland campaign with a close fourth in a harder race at Rosehill and the mare is an early favourite to win the Bowermans Office Furniture Handicap.

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