Trainer Kim Waugh is heading back to Dubbo on Sunday to make amends for a luckless Cup bid two years ago.
In 2009, Waugh saddled up favourite Delago Star only to see the gelding miss the start three lengths then have little luck in running before finishing 2-3/4 lengths eighth behind Tora Tora Tora.
Waugh returns with Delago Star, now an eight-year-old, for the $45,000 Sky Racing Dubbo Cup (1600m), but it’s rising middle distance mare Rock And Roll, owned by former Dubbo businessman Tim Hughes and his wife Jackie, who heads the stable assault.
Hughes, now based in Sydney and president of the NSW Trainers Association, has long held a dream of winning his home town Cup.
“I’ve only been to Dubbo once and Delago Star missed the kick then got locked in, no luck for us that day,” Waugh said.
“I’m hoping for better luck this time.
“We’re heading up there to make amends. Being a Dubbo boy, Tim has always wanted to win the Cup. It was his idea we go.”
Rock And Roll, formerly trained by David Hayes, chases a hat trick after strong wins over 1350m at Wyong on August 12 second up and 1600m at the same track on September 2.
Waugh has had the daughter of Fastnet Rock for two preparations.
“There’s no doubt she’s improved from last preparation,” Waugh said.
“There’s still plenty of upside to her.
“She’s typical of a lot of mares, got stronger and better as she’s matured with age.
“Corey (Brown) said she ran the 1600 metres out very strongly last start. She might get further but I’m happy with 1600 metres at the moment.
“Her last two wins have been strong, she’s going really well, racing confidently.
“Admittedly Sunday is a tougher assignment but she’s drawn well (barrier two) and Dale (Spriggs) should be able to possie her up where she’s comfortable.”
Waugh has been happy with Rock And Roll’s progress since Wyong.
“She’s fit. It’s a matter of poking along with her, keeping her happy,” she said.
“I’m happy with where she’s at.”
Rock And Rolls opposition includes Boomerang from the yard of local Peter Nestor who won with Izababe last year, Forbes Cup winner Granite Bluff, a Greg Ryan mount, favourite Southern Shimmer, luckless at its past two starts and locally-trained Narromine Cup runner-up Open Skies, prepared by Bob Caton.