WARRNAMBOOL horse lover Jo Mugavin is counting down the sleeps until she has her first runner as a trainer at Sandown on Saturday.
Mugavin, 30, has had an extensive career working with horses and saddles up the proven wet-tracker Atomic Gold in a restricted race over 1300 metres.
"I'm really excited and a bit nervous to have my first runner," she told The Standard.
"I can't wait. It's incredible to think my first runner will be in Melbourne.
"I was hoping to run Atomic Gold at the Warrnambool May Carnival but I had to wait until my trainer's licence was finalised.
"It's special Atomic Gold is my first runner as he's a home-bred. He was an orphan foal as his mum passed away after birth.
"My parents and I never raced him when he was young because he was slow developing. We just decided to give him time to mature and that's paid dividends."
Mugavin said she was hoping Sandown would be a heavy-rated track on Saturday when Atomic Gold resumes in the $80,000 contest.
"Atomic Gold is a real mudlark," she said. "I'm hoping for a lot of rain in the lead up to the race. The wetter the better. He's had three of his four wins on heavy tracks at Warrnambool, Mount Gambier and Benella.
"I've been happy how Atomic Gold is leading into the race. He's very fit. I can't get him any fitter. He had a track gallop on the fibre track at Warrnambool on Tuesday morning.
"His work was very good. Atomic Gold had a jump-out at Terang last week after track gallops at Terang, Penshurst and Mortlake.
"Daniel Bowman trained Atomic Gold for us before I got my trainer's licence and he did a great job."
The early betting markets rate Atomic Gold as a $34 chance of winning. Former Koroit-based jockey Declan Bates, who now lives in Ballarat, has been booked to ride Atomic Gold.
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