Hopes are high in camp Scottish Border heading into Saturday’s 2011 Christmas Cup clash at Rosehill, trainer Garry Frazer keeping his fingers crossed that it is the in-form five-year-olds’ time to prove themselves at stakes level after a number of close calls over their career.
Danewin gelding Scottish Border lines up in their 26th start in the $100,000 Listed Christmas Cup (2400m), the always-honest runner out to break their black-type maiden.
Drawn fairly in barrier nine in the 12-horse Christmas Cup field, the Hawkesbury-based stayer comes off two promising runs last month.
After a disappointing 10th to Somepin Anypin in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m), Scottish Border bounced back to come within a nose of Straight Albert when second in the Goulburn Cup (1600m).
They were last seen finishing a length away third to Zara Dancer in the Listed Frank Underwood Cup (1900m) at the notoriously tight Canterbury track on November 26.
“He only got beat a length at Canterbury last start, so that run was good,” Frazer said.
Best known for their third to Saint Encosta in the Group 3 Randwick City Stakes (2120m) back in March, Scottish Border has been first over the line on four occasions, but never at stakes level.
They face a quality field in the Christmas Cup this weekend with the likes of Frank Underwood Cup runner-up Yulalona, in-form Melbourne galloper Sea Galleon and 2009 Christmas Cup winner Scouting Wide.
Still on the 53kg minimum they are one of the genuine chances with Mitchell Bell, aboard for the Goulburn Cup run two starts back, reuniting with the horse.
“I’m very happy Mitchell will be riding him,” Frazer said.
“He has been riding very well lately so hopefully he will continue that on race day.”
Saturday will be Scottish Border’s first start over 2400 metres, but they were a competitive force when third to Stratofortress in the Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup in September last year over 2300 metres where they came from second last on the corner to finish in the money.
“I’m hoping he will win on Saturday,” Frazer said.
“We are not going there to make up the numbers, that’s for sure.
“He will be getting somewhere near peak fitness.”
Should Scottish Border run up to Frazer’s standards in the Christmas Cup, they will move onto Rosehill’s Boxing Day meeting for the $125,000 Summer Cup (2400m) where they will likely face a similar field.
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