JOCKEY Matthew Gray, fresh from monster day at Eidsvold, is heading a lot further west in search of more raceday plunder on Saturday.
Gray, who is on the comeback path from an injury break and has a solid city and provincial record, proved his form with a winning quintet a week ago at Eidsvold.
This weekend he is travelling further west having taken five rides on the Cunnamulla Cup card - Fame and Fortune, Sneaky Sniper, Pyramid Prince, Silent Flyer and Linked.
He rides Fame and Fortune in the "Oigle" Coleman and "Digger" Higgins Memorial Plate (1000m) for the Tim Higgins stable. Fame and Fortune has raced once for Higgins since its transfer from trainer Faye Hall, finishing seventh over 800m at Charleville on September 28.
Sneaky Sniper is one of two rides he has for the Chinchilla-based Norma King. Sneaky Sniper carries good form into the Friendly Grocer Benchmark 69 Handicap (1000m) with a Springsure win and two placings (at Goondiwindi and Taroom) from his past four runs.
Gray will replace apprentice Anna Bakos on Pryamid Prince in the Coffee Shop Benchmark 45 (1200m), which has drawn a capacity field of 15 including three emergencies.
Pyramid Prince joined Augathella trainer Raymond Frazer from the NSW-based Garry Lunn after an unplaced effort at Gilgandra in late August.
His only start for the new stable ended in a fifth of eight at Charleville on September 28.
Gray and King will team again with Silent Flyer in the Brown and Hurley Cunnamulla Cup (1400m), in which the Roma-trained Oggie, to be ridden by Jason Missen, is topweight.
The highly successful Craig Smith and Bevan Johnson stables will also be involved in the cup. Smith has accepted with Don't We Love it (Shane McGovern) and Johnson has stablemates Thin Disguise (Paul Randall) and Yeezy (Scott Sweedman) engaged.
Gray rounds out his book aboard Linked for Bourke trainer James Hatch in the Gary and Jenny Webster Benchmark 55 (1400m).
He thinks Silent Flyer could be competitive in the Cup after a strong win at Eidsvold, although they face a class rise.
Cunnamulla and Districts Diggers Race Club spokeswoman Liz Land said the support of owners and trainers had been "amazing" with "the most number of acceptances" in recent memory.
"I have been involved for a few years and never before have we had so many horses at the one meeting," she said.
"It is amazing to see this kind of support and the only worry for clubs out in the west is getting enough jockeys when you have big numbers of horses.
"But we will have 12 jockeys and that covers all the bases."