Agent Bauer Out for Murrumbidgee – Wagga Wagga Cup 2012 Double

Gwenda Markwell’s in-form five-year-old Agent Bauer will attempt to become just the second horse in history to take out the Murrumbidgee Cup – Wagga Wagga Cup double when they line up in the Wagga classic on Friday.

Formerly known as the Wagga Prelude the Murrumbidgee Cup was run and won over the 1800m at Wagga on April 15, Jeune gelding Agent Bower scoring a tidy one and a quarter length victory over Ilringya.

The last and to date only horse to complete the Wagga Prelude – Cup double was the Bernie Howlett-trained Macknuckle back in 2009, Markwell and connections hopeful that Agent Bauer can become the next on Friday.

A full field of 16 starters and two spares make up the field for the $140,000 Listed Wagga Wagga Cup (2000m) this year, Agent Bauer drawn in gate 16 with their Murrumbidgee Cup winning jockey Brendan Ward retaining the ride.

In a nice coincidence Ward was the hoop aboard Macknuckle three years ago for their Wagga Prelude – Wagga Cup success.

Drawing comparisons between Macknuckle and Agent Bauer the Canberra-based Ward expressed his confidence of overcoming the wide gate on Friday and achieving the rare feat again but admitted dual Canberra Cup champion Macknuckle was the better of the two.

“I did it on MacKnuckle so it can be done for sure especially when you race up on the speed over 10 furlongs,” he said.

“The horse can either lead or sit on the speed and I’ve got no option but to go forward from that gate, anyway.

“It’s no good going back when it’s an on-pace runner.

“Bernie’s was a good old horse winning two Canberra Cups, a Wagga Cup and I think he came second in a Goulburn Cup, so he was probably just a class above (Agent Bauer).”

Agent Bauer began their career under Michael Lynch where they failed in all five of their career openers, owner Will Watkins amazed with the difference transferring them to Markwell’s care made with the horse winning their first two with her after undergoing a gelding operation.

“As a last resort, because I love that horse, I decided to give it to Gwenda for one last shot,” Watkins said.

“I promised my wife if he couldn’t run we would get rid of them all.

“She just turned him around and he’s a different horse.”

Wagga Wagga Cup odds at are firmly led by Gai Waterhouse’s classy last start Canterbury winner Rain Drum at a quote of $3.80.

Other top fancies include Ross Stitt’s Southern Shimmer ($8), the John O’Shea-trained Legsman ($8.50) and the Chris Waller-trained Vintedge ($9).

A little further down the Wagga Wagga Gold Cup betting markets punters will find Agent Bauer paying $14 to enter the history books.

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