This Thursday the 2012 Coffs Harbour Cup will take centre stage in New South Wales and the locally trained gallopers in the classic will be out to break a two decade drought.
Sabre Luck was the last Coffs Harbour-trained horse to win their home town Cup back in 1991, but with a strong local contingent out in force on Thursday 2012 could see the drought broken.
Due to run as Race 7 at 4:09pm this year’s edition of the $80,000 Carlton Mid 2012 Coffs Harbour Gold Cup (1600m) originally drew a capacity field of 16 starters plus four emergencies.
The early scratching of #7 One Lickety Split however has paved the way for first emergency Letchworth to gain a start, but has cut the local contingent down to four.
Early Coffs Harbour Cup betting markets are led by the likes of the Ross Stitt-trained Youthful Jack from Taree, and Liam Birchley’s Brisbane raider Pepperwood.
Of the four remaining horses prepared in Coffs Harbour set to take on these top fancies on Thursday, the shortest priced is $9 chance Erinsea.
Drawn in barrier 14 the Brett Dodson-trained Tycoon Ruler mare has been in flying form this preparation and shoots for her fifth win from six starts in the cup.
After posting four straight wins from March – June, including two at Coffs Harbour, Erinsea was last seen running a close second to Beggin over 1400m at Grafton on July 12.
She also boasts an imposing record at the track with three wins and four minor placings form seven starts at Coffs Harbour.
Sawtell Cup winner Save A Buck ($16) and Toucan Ukelele ($17) follow before the horses with the home track advantage are rounded out by $67 roughie Geronimo Jack.
The Trevor Hardy-trained Secret Savings seven-year-old Save A Buck drew wide with gate 18 but has been racing impressively all year.
Highlights include their second in the Tamworth Cup back in April, close fourth to Ibalance in the John Carlton Cup at Grafton in July, third in the Maclean Cup at the same track 10 days later behind Universal Belief and of course their narrow last-start win in the 2012 Sawtell Cup (1516m) at Coffs Harbour on July 22.
Save A Buck relished the Heavy (10) track at Coffs for the Sawtell Cup but the course is likely to be in the Slow range at worst on Thursday.
Brett Bellamy’s Toucan Ukelele has a better draw in gate four with apprentice hoop Chle Lee to maintain their association with the Za-Im four-year-old who comes off a good two and a half length victory over the mile at Taree on July 27.
Geronimo Jack meanwhile also comes off a run in the Sawtell Cup having finished four lengths away fourth to Save A Buck in their first top four finish since December last year.
Other non-locals that are shorter in the markets then include Leon Davies’ Tamworth raider Clever Hans coming off a fourth in the Listed Tattersall’s Mile (1600m) at Eagle Farm on July 21, the Stephen Farley-trained Wishwyn from Wyong, and God’s Own mare Magnolia Lane from Warwick Farm who comes off a win at Muswellbrook over 1500m and who has the far outside barrier to overcome.
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