The Perth Cup 2015 on New Year’s Day at Ascot Racecourse is the major aim for the Adam Durrant-trained Ora Dare after they up-and-comer won at Belmont over the weekend.
The Lark Hill-based Durrant took his record for the season to 68 city winners, pushing him to a 28-win lead in the Perth trainers’ premiership, thanks to the wins by Tower Of Lonhro and Ora Dare.
A $20,000 bargain buy for Durrant, five-year-old Tower Of Lonhro was previously prepared in Victoria but has been doing well in Perth since their transfer there this time last year.
“He was trained in Victoria by Jason Warren,” Durrant told The West Australian.
“I bought Tower Of Lonhro for $20,000 when stabling Mr Moet at Jason’s property last year.”
But it’s the other one of his Saturday winners he’s long held a high opinion of, Oratorio four-year-old Ora Dare.
“He keeps improving,” Durrant said.
They took their record to seven wins from 18 starts with their victory in the $60,000 LD Total Handicap (2200m) on Saturday.
There apprentice hoop guided them to a one and a quarter length victory over Joe Miller’s $20 roughie West Drive, Ora Dare saluting for the punters as the $2.70 favourite.
Moving their way up the staying ranks, Durrant is confident Ora Dare will easily stretch out to the mile and a half.
That brings into contention the $400,000 Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) on January 1, the prestigious staying classic Durrant’s ultimate aim with the horse.
“This horse will be a starter in the next Perth Cup,” he declared.
Another possible Perth Cup-bound galloper coming out of last weekend’s racing meanwhile is the Henry Dwyer-trained Melbourne youngster Sonntag.
The three-year-old Teofilo colt won their third race at start number eight on Saturday when stepping up in class for the $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m).
There they went up from a non-Black Type over 2000m at Caulfield to a Group 1 in Brisbane over the 2400m, an impressive effort.
Their trainer has since come out announcing possible plans to target the Perth Cup during the Perth Summer Racing Carnival next season following a well-earned stint in the paddock.
Leading up to their Perth Cup bid the promising type, who will spend between six and eight weeks in Queensland’s Washpool Lodge, will likely contest other Perth races including the Group 1 Kingston Town Stakes (1800m) and Group 2 Cox Stakes (2100m).
“The Perth Cup is of $500,000 and there are a series of staying races like the Group 1 Kingston Town and the Group 2 CB Cox Stakes which could all be used as lead in races,” Dwyer told Racing Victoria.
“That’s just one of the options we could take and at the minute we are still enjoying the win.
“We’ll head back to Melbourne and discuss all possibilities in the coming weeks.”
With the Perth Cup still a way off punters might better like to check out the futures markets on the major staying races of the upcoming Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival including the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups – futures markets open for these online now at Ladbrokes.com.au!