FORMER Anthony Freedman-trained galloper Hornets Nest could take Koroit trainer James McNamara’s career to a new level when he runs in the $25,000 Coleraine Cup over 1800 metres tomorrow.
Hornets Nest, which has won his only two starts for McNamara, faces the biggest test of his short racing career when he tackles the feature flat race at Coleraine.
McNamara said he had no option but to lift the bar with Hornets Nest after he won his maiden at Warrnambool and a restricted race at Ararat earlier this month.
“There was no other race for him at this stage. I just thought I would throw an entry in the Coleraine Cup and see what happens,” the Koroit milk bar owner said.
“I know I’m running him out of his class but I’ve got no doubt Hornets Nest will run out a strong 1800 metres.
“The horse has thrived since his Ararat win last week. He’s a free-running horse who should be suited to the tight track at Coleraine.
“His biggest worry is drawing barrier 12.”
McNamara parted with $2500 to buy Hornets Nest at a mixed thoroughbred sale in Melbourne earlier this year.
“When I got the horse he was a real head case. He just would not settle,” he said.
“I’ve done a lot of work down at Killarney beach with him and he’s settling down now.
“He’s just starting to mature. I think he will develop into a handy horse. I reckon he will improve even more after he comes back from a break.”
Hornets Nest’s two wins have been on heavy tracks and McNamara said he was hoping for similar conditions tomorrow.
“He seems to love heavy tracks. I’m not sure how he will go on good tracks,” he said. “Looking at the weather it looks like we might have a bit of rain for Coleraine, which will be a bonus for our chances.”
Rhagan Cross has been onboard for Hornets Nest’s wins for McNamara and she will be back in the saddle tomorrow.