Wyong gelding Gazza Guru has been confirmed for next week’s Listed $150,000 2012 Grafton Cup (2350m).
The Stephen Farley-trained seven-year-old won the South Grafton Cup at the carnival last year but will step up to the main event after some solid results in black-type races following his 2011 carnival success.
Last spring the son of Street Cry showed he was up to class, placing in the Listed Wyong Cup as well as the Group 3 Newcastle Cup and the Craven Plate at Randwick.
The veteran gelding had a final lead-up race when sixth at Rosehill last weekend, with Farley saying he will take much needed fitness out of the run before tackling this preparation’s goal race.
“He needed that run and he did plenty of blowing after the race,” he said.
“This whole preparation has been set around the Grafton Cup and last Saturday’s effort will have him up to the mark next week.”
A veteran of 65 starts, the seven-year-old has just seven career wins but that hasn’t stopped jockey Peter Robl tipping him as one of the top contenders in next week’s feature.
“If he is anywhere near where he was 12 months ago, he’ll take some beating in the Cup next week,” Robl said.
“His Newcastle Cup run last year was super and he wasn’t very far from Green Moon on the line.
“That horse went on and placed in theCaulfield Cup so there was some serious form around him.”
One of the biggest non-metropolitan races in the country, the Grafton Cup field is starting to take shape with Caloundra Cup winner Shenzhou Steeds and Gold Coast-based gelding Shamardashing likely starters.
The Grafton Cup Prelude takes place today with the winner likely to start in next week’s main event.
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