While the 2013 Ramornie Handicap during the Grafton Cup Carnival remains the major aim for Sue Grills’ Tamworth-based galloper Border Rebel, the rain in Sydney is wreaking havoc on their lead-up preparations.
After an unsuccessful sixth behind Pinwheel in the 2010 edition of the Listed WHK Ramornie Handicap (1200m), the $150,000 Grafton Cup Carnival sprint on Wednesday July 10 is again on the agenda for the now seven-year-old Johannesburg gelding.
Border Rebel, who would go on to be named the NSW country champion racehorse the same season they failed in the Ramornie, has been in top form over the past couple of months running top four in three black type races.
Their most recent effort was fourth to Galah when beaten just half a length in the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm on June 1.
But it’s now been over a month between runs for the evergreen veteran with Grills’ carefully laid plans leading up to the Ramornie now in shatters due to heavy rain and washed out meetings in Sydney.
Originally Border Rebel was to have run in the Winter Dash at Randwick last Saturday.
But with the meeting abandoned due to the state of the track less than half an hour before the race was to run Grills has had to reevaluate.
Admitting to flying by the seat of her pants with the horse’s campaign now, Grills has accepted Border Rebel for the $20,000 John Carlton Cup (1215m) at Grafton this Thursday.
They are the 62kg top-weight of the field with apprentice hoop Sophie Young booked for the ride despite not being able to claim a weight allowance.
There’s also a nomination for Border Rebel in Saturday’s $80,000 Listed Ascot Handicap (1200m) where they have 56.5kg.
Grills however is leaning towards Thursday’s race as running at Eagle Farm on Saturday would all but rule them out of the Ramornie, a lucrative feature she’s been eyeing for some time.
“I’m still not sure myself what is best,” Grills said.
“I’ve accepted with him at Grafton on Thursday but the weight is a concern and I don’t want to flatten him for the Ramornie.
“But I couldn’t run him on Saturday and back him up on the Wednesday so at the moment it looks as if he will run at Grafton.
“Missing the race at Randwick has really mucked things up.
“His whole preparation has been aimed at the Ramornie.
“This is the race I want.”
Stay tuned to Races.com.au over the coming week for all the latest on the Grafton Cup Carnival races including Ramornie Handicap nominations due out shortly.
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