Venue no concern for Houston

Shelley Houston22A change of venue isn’t phasing Cambridge trainer Shelley Houston as she prepares Lucky Tonight for Sunday’s $A350,000 Grand National Steeplechase.

Racing Victoria officials are keeping a close eye on Ballarat as rain falls putting Warrnambool, just over two hours away, on stand-by as an alternative venue.

“I like Warrnambool it’s a lovely track,” said Houston (pictured). “We schooled there at the beginning of our Australian adventure and we’ve been based at Ballarat so it’s his home track.”

Lucky tonight has finished second in all three of his Australian races and Houston is confident he has improved since his last start in the Crisp Steeplechase.

“This is the race he’s been trained for and he’s spot on,” she said. “Hopefully this rain takes a few of them out of it and he can out stay them. It’s a very good field but he’s proved he can be competitive.”

Whatever happens on Sunday, Houston won’t entertain a Great Northern Steeplechase start with the eight-year-old this season.

“He’s booked to fly home on September 1, but he’s done enough this time in,” she said.

–NZ Racing Desk