Kempsey horse trainer Barry Ratcliff is hopeful of snapping a streak of 29 consecutive Kempsey Cup’s without a win this Friday.
Ratcliff has picked up four seconds over the three decades but is yet to claim the most prestigious horse racing reward in his hometown.
In his 30th attempt, Ratcliff will be relying on Pomme Petite, who he has trained for the past four years, to break the hoodoo.
He has high praise for the horse and claims it’s in with a real chance to cause an upset.
“She’s not very big but she gives 110 per cent – she has a heart as big as Phar Lap and she just keeps going,” Ratcliff told the Argus.
“She is due for a change of luck.”
Pomme Petite has had two sprint races in her current spell and earned mixed results.
She finished third in Coffs Harbour before a disappointing 11th position at Grafton less than two weeks ago.
However, Ratcliff said the conditions on the Kempsey track will suit Pomme Petite.
“It’s perfect for her, there’s a bit of bounce out of the ground. She doesn’t like the hard track and this will suit her just fine,” he said.
Ratcliff’s statements are backed up by Pomme Petite’s performance at last year’s Kempsey Cup as it was first past the post in the Steve Keir Memorial.
Pomme Petite will jump from barrier four and apprentice jockey Olivia Pickering will be trusted by Ratcliff to steer the horse to victory in the 1450m race.
The six-year-old mare has racked up four wins, eight seconds and six thirds in 36 career starts.
Ratcliff has one other opportunity to have a winner on Kempsey Cup day with Chief Moondance jumping in race four.
Chief Moondance is searching for its first career win but the four-year-old gelding has placed in three of its eight career starts.
Kempsey Race Club president John Graham is excited for Kempsey’s biggest race day of the year and he’s expecting a huge crowd.
“The preparation this year has been great, everyone’s talking about it,” Graham said.
“We have more tents than in previous years and we have filled out the corporate areas, it should be a crowd of more than 2,500 people.”
Race one jumps at 1.35pm with the final race of the day commencing at 5.50pm.