RON Stubbs has been around training long enough to know how fickle the racing game can be.
But the experienced horseman would be hard-pressed to find a more trying week than the one just gone.
At the start of the week Stubbs was highly anticipating the Country Championships qualifier with his two-pronged attack of Yousay Bolt and Lost Command.
"There is always other races but there is not too many $150,000 races at Albury on your home track.Ron Stubbs
Yousay Bolt was one of the leading fancies and was set to battle out favouritism for the lucrative feature.
But on Wednesday Stubbs was forced to withdraw his stable star because of a temperature and immediately sent her to the spelling paddock.
Then at yesterday's barrier draw, salt was rubbed into his wounds when second-stringer Lone Command drew barrier 18.
Stubbs took a philosophical approach to his horror 48 hours.
"That's racing and I can't do much about it," Stubbs said.
"The timing couldn't be worse though.
"There is always other races but there is not too many $150,000 races at Albury on your home track.
"Then you also miss out on the chance of qualifying for the big egg ($500,000 final).
"But there nothing I can do about it - if she is not well, she is not well."
Lone Command is one of four horses who will be aiming to win the Country Championship qualifier first-up from a spell.
Apprentice jockey Lachlan King has been booked to ride the seven-year-old mare.
Lone Command boasts a handy fresh record, finishing runner-up on three occasions from four previous attempts.
"After the barrier draw I won't have to give the jockey too many instructions will I?," Stubbs joked.
"He will just have to ride her as it happens.
"Hopefully it turns out to be a blessing in disguise and she can surprise a few.
"I think there will be plenty of pace on so my horse should be able to slot across from the outside barrier and find the fence without too much trouble.
"I know a lot of punters would have written her off because of the draw but I still give her a chance if she can produce her best on the day.
"There is a few strong chances in the race but it evens out fairly quickly and my mare can certainly run a cheeky race."
Favourite for the qualifier after yesterday's draw was the Geoff Duryea-trained News Girl who is quoted as a $2.50-chance.
News Girl is also nominated for races at Moonee Valley tonight and Caulfield the following day.
Duryea was leaning towards a Caulfield start for his stable star.
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