You might call him the Guru of Gulgong. Whatever the badge, he continues to drag along a small gold rush town in central western NSW that is hardly dripping in turf history.

Brett Thompson is one of several country trainers that have cashed in on significantly increased prizemoney, much wider opportunities, and more regular trips to the big smoke over the past couple of years.

And he is banking on an early double strike at Monday’s feature Orange meeting to continue one of the best runs in his training career.

The improving Dupenny tackles the opening maiden handicap over 1000m second up. Having just missed the major prize resuming at Narromine 18 days ago, the four-year-old mare looks well placed to break through, with Thompson choosing this race instead of a winnable maiden at Canberra on Sunday.

The stable also has honest four-year-old Toongi Bound in the same race, although Scone-based Xtra Intent resuming off an eight-length trial blitz at Tamworth is likely to be the clear danger.

The Thompson camp then sends out lightly raced three-year-old Ithicus, who looms as an enormous chance to claim a second victory at only his fourth start in a benchmark 58 over 1000m.

Based on a 100-acre property just 2km from the Gulgong town centre, not far from both Dubbo and Mudgee, Thompson has slowly built a reputation for producing tough and strong-boned gallopers who carry a sense of versatility and durability wherever he places them.

In fact, his recent record can be stacked up against any trainer around the bush. He has five winners – nearly 40 percent – from his last 13 runners, including a 16/1 winner at Mudgee only 10 days ago.

The latest double success came at Friday’s Dubbo meeting where Smart Roostar ($4.20) and Smart And Dapper ($4.40) both saluted with something in hand.

And coming from a town with a population of less than 3000, Thompson is more than doing his bit for a country community that doesn’t even get an official mention on the Bureau of Meteorology’s weather map.

Supplied by Racing NSW
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