This Sunday kicks off the final month of the year and the day will also be host to the Wodonga Gold Cup 2013 in country Victoria.
A popular bush feature, this year’s $80,000 Telstra Business Centre Wodonga Gold Cup (1590m) has drawn a full field of 14 acceptors plus three emergencies.
The early scratching of #4 Galway Gal however has already paved the way for the first spare, Peter Smith’s First Print, to gain a run.
It’s a quality Wodonga Cup field this year too with the weights led by the Brett Scott-trained Red Colossus on 60kg.
After their first win since Fannie Bay’s Roant Gold Cup when carrying 62.5kg in Darwin back in June, Testa Rossa seven-year-old Red Colossus had carried between 61kg and 62.5kg for all their runs from June through until last start when they ran fifth in the Peninsula Cup at Mornington over the mile carrying 57kg on November 3.
Local Wodonga trainer Brian Cox meanwhile has a stranglehold over the race numbers wise having accepted for four from his stables.
Cox’s contingent is made up by Tumbulgum, Jerilderie Cup winner Chinzia, Bel Esprit gelding Full Hand and Murdoch’s Joy.
Perhaps one of the top chances in the race meanwhile is Fastnet Rock gelding Our Smokin’ Rock from the stables of in-form trainer Wez Hunter.
Mornington horseman Hunter enjoyed a great spring carnival with stable ace Smokin’ Joey who won a Melbourne Cup Day Group 3 before placing second to Boban in the Emirates Stakes.
They failed over in Perth last weekend however when dead last in the Railway Stakes, something Hunter will be out to atone this Sunday with Our Smokin’ Rock who’s after their third on the trot.
Their last start was carrying 58kg to victory at Sale over 1717m, the drop back to 54kg to suit this weekend.
The other last start winners in the Wodonga Gold Cup this year are then Gerald Egan’s rising 10-year-old Euroa Cup winner Jetconi in gate three who is after their third Wodonga Cup trophy and the Brett Cavanough-trained Scatcat.
Three-year-old Shaft filly Scatcat vies for her fourth on the trot having won back-to-back races at home at Albury, including a Class 2 plate by seven lengths last month, before a five and a half length winning effort over the 1200m at Wagga on November 21.
While Sunday’s race is a notable class rise, it’s one she’s earned with Cavanagh believing her record should read six from eight and not five wins.
“She went around at Wodonga in the Jack Maher (Classic) on debut and then she stumbled across Marwood in a maiden at Seymour and she probably shouldn’t be beaten since,” Cavanough told Racing Victoria.
“Jake’s (Duffy) had the last five rides on her and when she was beaten with him onboard she hadn’t had a run for five weeks and it was probably as much my fault as anyone’s.
“I’ve seen Wodonga Cups where there have been last-start Melbourne Saturday winners and I don’t think there’s too many of them in there this year.
“It’s worth $48,000 to the winner and I’ve only got to drive 8kms so I’m pretty happy to go there with her.”
One thing she will have to overcome though is her far outside barrier 17 draw, into 14 for the jump.
Her trainer is confident that with regular hoop Duffy aboard she’s got the versatility to adapt and position herself wherever is needed even from the awkward gate.
“She just a very versatile filly going through her grades,” he said.
“She gave a mob of open handicappers a belting the other day at Wagga.
“I thought that race would have been a good guide to see if she was up to a (metropolitan) Wednesday race, but with the way she beat them a few of the guys who do times and splits said maybe she’s a Saturday filly.
“I thought if she drew a good gate then she could go around in the Wodonga Cup and what happens? She draws barrier 17.”
“Barrier 17 scares me a bit but I think they have quite a long run down the back straight from the barrier and if I wake up Sunday morning and she’s in really good order then I’ll probably run her.”
Cavanough is likely to spell Scatcat immediately after Sunday’s performance regardless of the result giving her a well-earned rest ahead of an autumn return where she could be stretched to 2000m.
“The way she relaxes I think she might run 2000 metres,” he said. “She might end up being an Oaks filly.
“We’ve fielded a couple of big offers for her already. Her pedigree is worth nothing but as a racehorse we don’t know how good she is, it has all been off one preparation so far but she just keeps improving.
“My wife and I own her with Bernie and Anne Kelly and everyone’s happy just to sit back, see where we end up and go along for the ride.”
See below for the full Wodonga Gold Cup 2013 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2013 Wodonga Gold Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Wodonga Race 6 – 3:58pm (AEST) – 01/12/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||503154×635||RED COLOSSUS||Brett Scott||Dale Smith||10||60kg||90|
|2||4x11677x26||TUMBULGUM||Brian Cox||Dean Holland||5||54.5kg||79|
|3||232650×196||CHINZIA||Brian Cox||Michael Heagney||9||54kg||77|
|4||70346101×8||FULL HAND||Brian Cox||Jason Benbow||16||54kg||75|
|5||3715×47873||GALWAY GAL||Dan Cunningham||–||12||54kg||70|
|6||1023×03130||GRAND SAI WAN||Peter Burgun||Ms Shirley Hunter||2||54kg||73|
|7||56x508x731||JETCONI||Gerald Egan||Jye McNeil (a)||3||54kg||75|
|8||453570×198||MURDOCH’S JOY||Brian Cox||Ms Linda Meech||15||54kg||72|
|9||010×809611||OUR SMOKIN’ ROCK||Wez Hunter||Ms Katelyn Mallyon (a)||14||54kg||70|
|10||183×011259||PROVIDENTIAL||David O’Prey||Darren Gauci||11||54kg||73|
|11||84112111||SCATCAT||Brett Cavanough||Jake Duffy (a)||17||54kg||78|
|12||1147×05227||STRATIGRAPHY||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||13||54kg||78|
|13||8032104148||STYNES||Tommy Lanyon||Simon Miller||4||54kg||74|
|14||563140×085||TUBE||Damien Williams||Ms Jackie Beriman (a)||8||54kg||71|
|15e||178358×653||FIRST PRINT||Peter Smith||–||7||54kg||65|
|17e||8×43811516||EVIE ROSE||Gavin Murphy||–||1||54kg||79|