Local trainers' wish list for Scone Cup
One wants moisture of any sort, even a fog or heavy dew would do. The second wants nothing more than for the weather to remain warm and dry and the third doesn’t really care.
Those are the weather wishes of three local trainers trying to win Friday’s Listed $110,000 Scone Cup (1600m) – Luke Griffith who prepares With A Chance (Grant Buckley), Jeff Englebrecht, who is aiming to win his second successive Cup with Newton’s Rings (apprentice Aaron Bullock), and Bill Farrow who prepares the outsider Fair Trial (Terry Green).
Griffith would love a little moisture in the track but seems unlikely to have his wish granted with fine weather forecast to continue and the track rated a good three.
He is making his third and probably final attempt to win the Cup with the locally-owned With A Chance.
“It is no secret my horse likes the sting out of the ground,” Griffith said.
“There is little likelihood of rain so a fog and heavy dew would be better than nothing.
“However the track is in fantastic order with a great grass cover so there will be plenty of cushion in it.
“My horse will be up on the pace and the others will have to come from behind to try and beat him.
“He won’t give up without a fight and being on his home track is a big advantage.”
Englebrecht wants nothing to change.
“If the conditions remain as they are forecast it will be perfect for my horse,” the Muswellbrook-based trainer said.
“I think he is better this year than when he won the Cup last year.
“He had been up a long time and was getting towards the end of his preparation last year.
“This time he goes into the race with five starts behind him after a good spell and he was a little unlucky when second to Centover in the Tamworth Cup.”
Englebrecht is not worried about giving the Cup ride to Bullock.
“I don’t think it will faze him one bit,” Englebrecht said.
“He is a really sensible kid and one of those apprentices who loves the challenge of pitting himself against some of the best riders in the state.
“He has been riding the horse in work so he knows him well.”
Bill Farrow, who only took over the training of Fair Trial this preparation, said his horse could handle any conditions.
“I doesn’t matter to my horse what the conditions are but I always say that in these big races you want a good track so the best horse can win,” Farrow said.
Farrow refuses to concede that his horse is the outsider.
“He has been racing with great heart and two starts back at Mudgee would have beaten With A Chance with one more bound,” he said.
“We are going to ride the horse a little closer in the Cup and if Terry can do that I think the horse has a good chance.”
By Grahame Timbrell