Local Broadmeadow-based trainer Paul Perry will on Thursday look to break his maiden status in his home town Cup saddling up the in-form Ghost Protocol in the 2013 Newcastle Cup.
Perry has been blessed with success winning major races both in Australia and aboard.
However the $175,000 Group 3 XXXX Gold Newcastle Cup (2300m) has so far eluded him.
A race close to his heart that he would love to take out, the Newcastle Cup has this year drawn a final field of 16 hopefuls.
Headliners in the major spring staying features lead-up include the Gerald Ryan-trained Ironstein, Chris Waller’s flying Lucripetous and early favourite Danas Best from the Gai Waterhouse stables.
Another single figure chance in the early markets is then Ghost Protocol who has drawn barrier eight with Jason Collett to ride.
While Ironstein tops the weights with 59kg, Perry’s hopeful gets into the Newcastle Cup on the 54kg minimum giving them a nice advantage on their now home track.
The imported Cockney Rebel four-year-old has been with Perry since the start of the year after he paid $100,000 for the English galloper.
They have had seven Sydney starts for their new trainer but are yet to taste success.
They came close last start however when stepped up to the mile and a half at Rosehill on August 31 to finish a close second to Danas Best when carry 57.5kg having coming from back of the field.
“He got caught behind a tiring runner just when he was starting to make his run at the 700m mark,” Perry said to the Newcastle Herald about that run
“He looks great and trained on well since that run so he can have a go at the Newcastle Cup and we will see what happens from there.”
Perry obviously already has a very high opinion of the import too having nominated Ghost Protocol for the world’s richest handicap, the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) running at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November.
The Newcastle Cup form for the Melbourne classic has held up in recent years too with last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon having won the 2011 edition of Broadmeadow’s flagship event.
“I suppose it is hit and hope but you never know. He has shown he can stay, so you have to take the punt and nominate for the Melbourne Cup,” Perry said.
“If he did happen to win the Newcastle Cup, I would have to look to taking him to Melbourne.
“There are some nice lead-up races down there and a win in a race like the Geelong Cup might be the way to go to try to get him into the Melbourne Cup.”
The $300,000 Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) runs on October 23.
To get behind your favourites at Newcastle tomorrow and Thursday at the best prices head over to Ladbrokes.com.au and sign-up with the online bookie offering new customers a $250 bonus welcome bet on the house!