Damien Lane won’t be in his normal spot trackside this Thursday when his stable lines up with four runners at the Wyong NBN News Cannonball Raceday.
Instead Lane will be honeymooning in Hawaii, having handed over the reins temporarily to his new father-in-law former Wyong trainer Bob Law.
Lane married his long-time partner Kate at their property at Glenning Valley near Wyong on March 31, in front of 180 family and friends. The newlyweds flew out on Tuesday night for a week long break, leaving Law and stable staff in control.
It’s a rare break for the couple, who work together with their team of horses trained at Wyong.
“It will be good to get away but I’ll be tuned in somewhere on Thursday to see the horses run,” Lane said.
“We had a lovely day for the wedding, it was very special. We have a week in Hawaii now and then it will be back to business.
“I’m lucky to have Bob who will saddle the horses up for me and make sure everything runs smoothly.”
Lane is hoping a winner or two in his absence could put the icing on the honeymoon.
“We had a winner at Wellington on Saturday and it would be good to get a couple more while we’re away.”
The Lane stable has accepted with four runners for the Wyong meeting, with the trainer considering Flying Comet one of his best chances.
The Sepoy mare his having her second run for the stable in the 1350m Maiden Plate, having previously raced in Victoria, with three seconds from 16 starts.
She is coming off a fifth at Taree over 1007m on March 16.
“In her first run for me the other day at Taree, she went really good. The 1000m was a bit short for her and now she is up to her preferred distance,” Lane said.
“It is a bit tougher at Wyong than Taree but the trip will definitely suit better than first up.
“I thought her run was good. She’s had plenty of chances to win a race but I can only go on what she’s done since I’ve had her and she’s definitely been improving.
“It’s up to the trip she needs so we’ll see how she goes.”
Three-year-old filly Whitsunday, coming off at fourth at Gosford’s Metropolitan meeting on March 21, starts in the 1200m 3YO Maiden.
“In her last couple of runs she’s gone well. Her run at Coonamble was good and she went really well in the city run at Gosford at her next start.
“She came from well back that day and ran home well. I think she will appreciate the extra distance and should finish strongly.”
Lane believes Kangaru can figure in the finish in the 1350m Benchmark 71, if he can replicate his first up form this preparation.
The Casino Prince gelding finished third at Warwick Farm over 1000m on February 14, a length and a half behind the winner.
He is a dual winner over the 1200m at Wyong but Lane considers he will need luck in running.
“He went really good first up. Second up he sort of got back and they didn’t make ground.
“At his next start he drew off the track at Dubbo and nothing went right.
“I think he’s still ticking along nice. He’s a horse that gets back and he’s going to need a bit of luck. Even though he’s won two races at Wyong he’ll definitely need things to go his way.”
Cinema Paradiso is Merriwa Cup bound, with Lane using the 1200m Class 2 at Wyong as a stepping stone.
He conceded while the mare’s recent form didn’t look good on paper, there were excuses.
“She was running really good but she’s just had a very interrupted preparation,” he said.
“She went to Newcastle on Boxing Day in an 1890m, got caught deep and nothing went right. Since then she’s had a bit of a freshen up and then she got kicked by another horse coming off the track.
“She just hasn’t had any luck. The 1200m will probably be too short for her but the plan is she’ll have a run there and then go to Merriwa for the Cup on April 21.”
The in-form Waugh stable also has a strong contingent at Thursday’s meeting with all four runners King Hewitt, Sleepwalker, Validate and Staraday, considered chances.
The first of eight races gets underway at 12.50pm.
RACE 1 – 12.50pm: BENDIGO BANK MAIDEN PLATE (1350m): 1 STONE, 2 Membership, 3 Everlasting Love, 4 Enlightened Boy.
RACE 2 – 1.25pm: JA DOORS CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1600m): 1 ORDOS HONOR, 2 King Hewitt, 3 Penske, 4 Pellegrina.
RACE 3 – 2.05pm: ODDFISH MEDIA MAIDEN PLATE (2100m): 1 HIGH DUDE, 2 Just Gorgeous, 3 Nothing Too Hard, 4 Busker’s Ballad.
RACE 4 – 2.40pm: PATIOWORLD MAIDEN HANDICAP (1000m): 1 HIGHLY INFLUENTIAL, 2 Brooke, 3 Lolliepop, 4 Mandalong One up.
RACE 5 – 3.15pm: SUNNYLAEK SHORES 3YO MAIDEN HANDICAP (1200m): 1 HEZ LETHAL, 2 Bachelor, 3 Mahjong Rose, 4 Karaage.
RACE 6 – 3.50pm: TUMBI WHOLESALE MEATS CLASS 2 HANDICAP (1200m): 1 DORTMUND, 2 Lieutenant Dan, 3 Sleepwalker, 4 La Renarde.
RACE 7 – 4.25pm: NBN NEWS CANNONBALL BENCHMARK 70 HANDICAP (1100m): 1 LANGOUSTINE, 2 Legadema, 3 Validate, 4 Duck In Dubai.
RACE 8 – 5.05pm: NBN COMMUNITY PARTNERS BENCHMARK 71 HANDICAP (1350m): 1 MAGIC SEARCH, 2 Penske, 3, Bodhi Blue, 4 Staraday.