BY TOM BARBER | Daily Liberal 14 February 2024

Brett Robb has already tasted Newhaven Park Country Championships success before and now he wants to go back-to-back.

The Dubbo trainer is currently hard at work preparing several runners from his stable for the Western Country Championships qualifier on March 17 at Coonamble.

One of those is the highly-talented and already proven winner Gallant Star, who has high expectations already.

The four-year-old gelding will be in action on Friday night at Canterbury Park in the Godolphin Lifetime Care Handicap (1250m), likely his last race before Coonamble.

"He is ticking over good, he has had a couple of runs in the highways and a benchmark 72," he said.

"He had a little freshen in between and he is doing well, hopefully, we will go down there and run well."

With part ownership belonging to former test cricketer and commentator Kerry O'Keeffe, there is plenty of praise for the gelding.

Among the betting markets, Gallant Star is one of three favourites as of February 14, days before the first qualifying race has even been held.

"I did see that but he has to get there first," Robb said.

Closer to home defending champion Sizzle Minizzle is shaping up for a run this weekend as he also aims for a start at Coonamble.

The gelding has had two trials in 2024, his first runs since the Kosciuszko in October 2023.

A surprise winner for some at Randwick almost 12 months ago, Robb said Sizzle Minizzle will be thereabouts for the Country Champs qualifier again.

"He's had the two trials, I've got him in for Dubbo on Sunday or Randwick on Saturday but I'm not too sure where I'm going to go yet," he said.

"I'll see what what weight he gets at Dubbo but he has been accepted for Sydney, we will see what we get then I'll make my mind up.

"Both he and Gallant Star will probably just jump out a week or so out from the Coonamble run."

Sam Clipperton is set to ride Gallant Star at Canterbury and will also be on Sizzle Minizzle should he run in Sydney also.

Robb's regular jockey Clayton Gallagher looks to be out for an extended period after injuring his wrist at Gilgandra on February 10.