Damien Lane sets sights on the Midway with Budhwar

He’s been knocking on the door with three seconds from his past four outings, but the Damien Lane-trained Budhwar will get his opportunity to post a well-deserved victory when he contests the Midway Handicap over 1100m at Kensington this Saturday.

The Wandjina gelding was only just nutted late on the line in the Rosehill edition of the Midway three runs back, before two commendable efforts at Canterbury since. He draws perfectly in gate two and gets the benefit of Chris Williams’ 2kg claim which will put him right in contention to win the $100,000 event.

With four wins and 15 placings from just 30 starts and almost $190,000 in earnings, Budhwar has been a handy money-spinner for connections. In fact, he has remarkably only missed the top four once in his past nine outings.

“He’s been a bit unlucky,” Lane said.

“He’s just one of those horses that tries really hard and puts himself up on speed and tends to find one that can nab him late all the time.

“He’s racing really consistent. You’d love a stable full of him that’s for sure.”

It will be Budhwar’s first spin on the Kensington surface, but Lane believes it could suit his racing pattern with the five-year-old undoubtedly taking a forward position. In all but one start this preparation Budhwar has been in front at both the 800m and 400m marks.

“I think with his natural racing style the Kenso probably suits,” Lane said.

“Back to the 1100m is a little bit of a query but I think the fact that he’s got good speed, if he doesn’t lead he’ll be third the fence.

“He’s going to be thereabouts and he gets his chance for sure.” As of Thursday afternoon Budhwar was a $9 chance with the TAB.

The introduction of the Midway races have been welcomed by those eligible for the concept, and Lane explains that many of his fellow Wyong trainers have all experienced success in the race. With the recent upgrades at the Wyong track being hailed as first-class by the local training community, it’s easy to see why.

“We’ve won one and have run a few placings, Kim (Waugh) has won a few. (Tracy) Bartley’s won one and KB (Kristen Buchanan) has won three. It’s good for Wyong,” Lane said.

“We can’t blame the Wyong facilities for not being able to train a winner that’s for sure. We’ve got everything we need here.”

Looking forward to the Provincial Championships heats early in the new year, Lane has a few options up his sleeve.

“I’ve got a few there, Zorocat looks likely, Too Good To Be Tru also,” Lane said.

“Oakfield Prince I think is a nice horse on the way up. There’s definitely a few there that are worth aiming that way.”

The Provincial Championships final will be held at Royal Randwick on April 9 2022.

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