Michael Lunn embraces life as a country trainer, but with an untapped two-year-old in his small Dubbo stable a trip to Sydney is inevitable.
Lunn spent more than a decade in the high-pressure surroundings of metropolitan training at Warwick Farm as foreman for Vic Thompson.
He experienced highs like Procol Harum winning the Caulfield Guineas in 1989, but now happily has six in work in country NSW.
Lunn would rather Lingennic could develop at home but a lack of opportunity means he has to bring him to Rosehill on Saturday for the $150,000 Golden Gift (1100m).
“We just don’t get two-year-old races here,” Lunn said.
“We had a two-year-old the other day. It had three noms and they wiped the race. There’s not a two-year-old race until January 14.
“They want you to buy yearlings but what do you do with them?
Lunn’s answer is to head to Sydney for the first time since Tips And Beers ran fifth at Warwick Farm in May.
Lingennic was 11 and 13 lengths behind the winners in barrier trials at Narromine and Dubbo, but Lunn said there were mitigating factors.
“They just don’t have two-year-old trials so you’ve got to race with open company horses and that can be demoralising,” Lunn said.
“That’s why I thought you had two-year-old trials for, to educate them, but they make two-year-olds run 1000 metres, that’s too far for young horses.
“I told the jockeys not to knock him around, just hold him together and teach him a little bit.”‘
At the other end of the spectrum, stablemate Didyahearme has his second crack at a Highway Handicap when country-trained horses race over 1500m.
In his first Highway race in May last year the six-year-old finished 9-1/2 lengths behind Royal Engineer.
“The 1200 was a little bit short for him, he prefers 1500 to the mile,” Lunn said.