THE DAILY ADVERTISER, AUGUST 14
BY MATT MALONE
The connections of Landmine are hoping they will be rewarded for their patience and perseverance this preparation, which kicks off at Narrandera on Saturday.
Landmine is set to resume from a spell when he lines up in the Leeton Toyota Benchmark 58 Handicap (1000m).
Landmine was nursed back to the racetrack after the fall, resuming at Gundagai in November last year.
Landmine, who has always shown potential, warmed up for his return with an eight-length trial win at Gundagai last Sunday week.
Wagga trainer Chris Heywood is set to accept with Landmine at Albury on Tuesday as well, but is keen on Narrandera as his preferred first-up option despite being asked to carry 62.5 kilograms.
“I thought the Albury meeting, the distance would have suited better but I just don’t want to put him on a bog track so I’m probably just playing it safe by sending him to Narrandera,” Heywood said.
“He’ll carry 62.5 on his ear. He’d nearly carry me around. I’d say the 1000 is a tad short for his best but it’s either that or go to Albury on a bog track. I’ve still got that option but Narrandera looks the better option and he goes alright at Narrandera too.”
Landmine went around as a $21 chance in last year’s Country Championships Qualifier won by Bennelong Dancer. He was putting up a brave fight after being three-wide the journey when he was brought down inside the final 200 metres.
He was nursed back to the track and only got one start in before injury struck.
“We worked him on the sand here one morning and you wouldn’t believe it, he fractured a shin splint,” Heywood explained.
“Just one of those rare things but it happened. He ended up wounded from it. He had to go the paddock for a good while and now he’s back.”
A winner of four from 17, Landmine was given a quiet trial at Narrandera last month before producing an eye-catching win at Gundagai in his second hit-out.
“He’s been good, everything’s been good. He’s still a bit on the hairy side but it’s coming slowly. Otherwise, I’m happy with him,” Heywood said.
“His work’s been good, his trials were really good. If I had to say anything, I’m worried about the 1000 and it being a tad short. But if that’s the case, it is what it is.”
Richard Bensley takes the ride on Landmine.
Heywood has also accepted with Jellambi and Fifty Carats in the Narrandera Argus Maiden Plate (1000m).
Jellambi is likely to be saved for Albury, while Heywood is happy with the direction Fifty Carats is headed.
“Jellambi, I’m favouring Albury. I think she’ll swim. The wetter the track, I think she’ll grow a leg. She does not like hard surfaces,” he said.
“The other little girl, she trialled good. It is probably going to be a tad short for her, but she’s going to be a nice little horse for the future. She’s actually been a bit of a surprise horse, she’s done a few things this time in that we probably didn’t expect.”