Everybodylovedray. Photo by Club Menangle
IN WHAT is becoming a cliché, Australian Pacing Gold purchases are once again poised to dominate another rich feature
Just as they have in recent years – including last season's Group Ones such as the New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge, Breeders’ Crown, Vicbred, Derbys and Oaks – APG stock are aplenty in the Regional Championship - Metropolitan Final at Club Menangle tonight.
In fact, members of the APG 'family' complete half the field in the $100,000 event which is open to all comers.
APG's representatives include heat winners Schouten Island, Major Jarod and Everybodylovedray, which is chasing a sentimental victory for his breeder, Barbara Furina.
Following the death of her son Ray, Barbara referred to the colt as 'Rabbit' due to his tendency of constantly running around - a trait her son also had.
After buying the son of Always A Virgin at Sydney's APG Sale, trainer David Thorn was approached by Barbara about the stable name remaining, but the astute horseman went a step further.
"Barbara explained the situation with me and asked if the name Rabbit could stay with the horse," Thorn said. "Which I was more than happy to do.
"After that I starting thinking about what Barbara told me and tried variations of getting Ray into the horse's name.
"He then came out and won his first three starts, so it was a wonderful way for Barbara and her family to celebrate Ray's life."
A consistent performer with 12 wins and 21 placings from 81 starts, Everybodylovedray is in perfect condition for the Final according to Thorn.
To connections' dismay, however, the seven-year-old has drawn terribly in barrier 10.
"He has come back more mature and better within himself this time in," Thorn said. "I've been pretty happy with all of his runs, particularly the heat.
"His work since has been as good as ever and he's ready to run another good race.
"The draw isn't ideal and bad luck is always a worry, but as far as condition goes, there are no excuses."