TRAINER Mick Sell hopes a big Kyneton Cup (2000m) effort on Wednesday with Penny To Sell can deliver him the perfect parting gift as he prepares to leave Bendigo.
Sell, who has been based at the stables across the road from the Bendigo Jockey Club formerly owned by Gus Philpot since July last year, is returning home to Kyneton.
His 16-month stint in Bendigo has coincided with a run of phenomenal success, in no small part due to his Kyneton Cup contender.
Penny To Sell has continued to provide the Sell family and their hard-working stable some of their memorable moments in the sport.
Five of the now eight-year-old mare's 12 career wins have come during the trainer's time in Bendigo, each of them special in their own way, starting with an astonishing 150-1 success at Bendigo last October.
The mare would go on to win the Dunkeld Cup last November before scoring a pair of metropolitan wins at Flemington in December and Morphettville in February.
After resuming from a 22-week spell at Moonee Valley in September, Penny To Sell defied the top weight of 60kg to win her second Gunbower Cup in October, pushing her career prize money earnings towards the $340,000 mark.
A successful 12 months on the track was capped by a prominent All-Star Mile campaign, which yielded her small team of owners a top-15 finish in voting.
The mare has run once before in the Kyneton Cup, for a fifth in 2017.
Sell said a similar or better finish in Wednesday's race would be a great result and the ideal ending to his time in Bendigo.
"There's definitely three or four in the race, who are pretty handy and they will be hard to beat," he said.
"Patrick Payne's horse (Double You Tee) and the top weight (Pacodali) are both pretty sharp, but you go past the first three or four it's a fairly even sort of race.
"Penny has that real good preparation last time in, but saying that I'd be happy for fifth again, preferably better."
Sell, who ended the 2018-19 racing season as Bendigo's leading trainer with 16 winners, after 19 the previous season, will always have fond memories of his time in the city, but stressed his move back home was purely with 'family-first' in mind.
"The kids are happy at school (in Kyneton), it has nothing to do with Bendigo. There are great facilities here and great people, but it;s hard when you don't live there," he said.
"I have to keep the kids happy.
"I reckon I will be out by the weekend - (Darkside) at Geelong on Saturday will be my last runner from Bendigo.
"We've had a lot of great results since we've been in Bendigo, I can't fault anything.
"The year before I trained just as many winners at Kyneton, but because they don't have an awards night, you don't really hear about it.
"There's no doubt in my mind Bendigo is the better facility, but saying that, no matter where you are you need the cattle to succeed."
Sell said he would be 'over the moon' with a Kyneton Cup placing.
The $125,000 feature will be the eighth of nine races run on cup day and is timed to start at 4.40pm.
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