South Grafton Cup hope All But Gone for Lane
DAMIEN Lane heads to Grafton on Sunday chasing a second $50,000 Grafton Toyota South Grafton Cup (1600m).
The 38-year-old Wyong trainer was considering a two-pronged South Grafton Cup attack with Oakfield Captain and All But Gone, but has decided to go with just the latter in the metric mile.
“The other horse (Oakfield Captain) just drew a bit too tricky,” Lane said of a Wingham Cup winner who may start at Randwick on Saturday, even though he drew badly there as well.
All But Gone, an eight-year-old gelding son of Haradasun, has won eight of his 56 starts and just over $260,000 in prizemoney.
“It’s even better because we own him,” Lane said of his wife, Kate, and himself.
“I think he’s good hope too. He was unlucky at Newcastle (5th) and his run at Randwick (8th last start) was good. He gets back as well.”
He expects there to be plenty of pace in the race and that will enable All But Gone to “get home.”
The gelding has been a fixture in his stable for five years and one of his first big wins came in the 2016 Country Cup at Scone.
That was the start of a good run for the former Coonamble boy who grew up “across the road from stables” and “rode ponies and played footie with my mates” from an early, rollicking age.
“They were good days,” he remembered, as us two former Coonambleites traded warm memories.
His training career started in Coonamble with a few winners and then he moved to Wyong but didn’t train for a while before he started back with a couple.
“I mucked about with one or two but then got serious seven or eight years ago,” he said.
What started as a few in work began to increase.
“I had eight in work when All But Gone won that Country Cup at Scone,” he said.
“We’ve got 45 now. I’ve just taken over another barn of 10 this week after Les Tilley retired. We’ve just been getting organised here.
“We’ve been having a good run and getting plenty of winners and had some city winners too.”
That means he has cut down on travelling as much as he had done the last decade although “I still like it”.
“We’ve got (and getting) a better quality of horse too.”
Grafton, he said, has been good to him the past few years as well.
“The year we won the South Grafton Cup with Mr McBat, we also won the Kirby with Johnny Roo Boy and I won trainer of the carnival. That was good. I haven’t had much ammunition the past couple of years but I think All But Gone is a good hope,” Lane said.
“And I hope Oakfield Twilight might go to the Ramornie. Have to see what it’s like and maybe have Pirate Ben in the Cup. There are races in town the following Saturday for both of them.”
He said Darryl “Digger” McLellan will ride All But Gone in Sunday’s South Grafton Cup and has nothing but praise for him.
“He’s been a big help to the stable,” Damien said.
“Been coming up here and riding work every Tuesday and will go up to ride All But Gone in the South Grafton Cup.”