This afternoon the always popular Wagga Wagga Cup 2012 will run in New South Wales, one of the top chances in the feature being the Chris Waller-trained Vintedge who is tipped for a return to form.
Due to run at 4:15pm the $140,000 Listed Jam Media 2012 Wagga Wagga Cup (2000m) field is down to its 16 original starters with the two emergencies having now been officially scratched.
Clear favourite in the Wagga Wagga Cup odds at the bookies around Australia is Gai Waterhouse’s last start Canterbury winner Rain Drum paying around $3.80 for the win.
One of the other single figure chances at a quote of about $9 to score an upset Wagga Wagga Cup result is then six-year-old Flying Spur mare Vintedge.
Vintedge is a veteran of 42 starts but boasts only a moderate winning strike rate having won just six of those.
Her most recent turf triumph was on Emirates Stakes Day last November at Flemington when she scored a good two length victory in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) after overcoming the extreme outside barrier 16 of 16.
Last start Vintedge ran sixth to Western Symbol in the listed JRA Plate (2000m) at Randwick but Waller and connections are hoping to see improvement from her this afternoon.
“She has been struggling to produce her best form this prep and if she could recapture her spring form she’d take some beating,” Waller’s racing manager Liam Prior said.
“What we’ve been doing at the moment hasn’t been working with her.
“Hopefully the change of environment with a trip to Wagga will spark her up.
“It didn’t do her any harm when we took her to Melbourne late last year.”
Drawn in barrier seven originally she will now jump from five with the spares out, Grant Buckley riding Vintedge for the first time this afternoon, the hoop instructed to ride the mare a little bit more off the pace than she has been throughout this prep.
“We’re probably going to revert to riding her a little bit quieter than we have at her last couple of starts,” Prior said.
“When she won at Flemington in the spring she attacked the line much better than she has recently.
“She’s well in with only half a kilo off the limit (on 54.5kg) and there’s no doubt that the big straight at Wagga will suit.
“If she finds her best she’ll make her presence felt.”
Other notable hopefuls getting some love from the punters in the Wagga Wagga Cup include the John O’Shea-trained Legsman who should be ready to fire second-up stepping up in distance, Ross Stitt’s progressive four-year-old Southern Shimmer, and Canberra Cup third placegetter Coliseo.
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