SEVEN wins in nine days – that is the task ahead of George’s Plains reinsman Mat Rue as he pushes to crack 100 winning drives in New South Wales this season.
While Rue has enjoyed plenty of success in the gig, having eclipsed 500 career wins in January last year, the 100 winning drives in a season is a milestone he has only previously reached twice.
Rue first did it in season 2011-12 when he saluted on 110 occasions, while last season was his best yet with 113 victories in the gig.
Now, as the end of season 2016-17 looms, that magic 100 mark is again in reach for the talented reinsman.
After steering four winners at the Dubbo Paceway on Sunday, he took his tally to 93.
Lethal Promise continued his fine form in one of the day’s main events, a heat of the Western District Championship (2,120 metres), while he guided Long Way Home to a hugely impressive maiden win for Dubbo trainer Amanda Coffee.
He also scored with Im Ok in the day’s main event for Bernie Hewitt and $12.40 chance Irish Priest later in the day.
Rue lavished praise on the Hewitt-trained Lethal Promise, whose consistent form has him looming large for the Western District Championship Final at Bathurst on August 30.
“I think he’s a really strong chance,” he said of the final.
“He’s a really nice horse. His last 10 or so starts he’s been going really good and there’s been a lot of strong efforts.
“He copped plenty of pressure and at 1:59, that was easily the quickest mile rate of the day, but if someone had come at him late I think he still had more to offer.”
On Wednesday night Rue has six chances at the Bathurst Harness Racing Club’s meeting to add to his tally of wins, and in a good sign, all but one of those runners finished in the top three in their last start.
He will once more steer Im Ok, one of his Dubbo winners, for Hewitt. This time the pair will combine in the Western Districts Sapling Stakes (2,260m).
The Rock N Roll Heaven x Shikari Lombo gelding will go from barrier three.
The first race of Wednesday’s meeting at the Bathurst Paceway gets underway at 5.06pm.