A top class field in Friday’s $160,000 Wyong Gold Cup hasn’t phased local trainer Damien Lane, who is saddling up his first ever runner in the prestigious race.
Lane has last start winner Pirate Ben in the feature on Carlton Mid Wyong Gold Cup race day, with the $125,000 Listed Mona Lisa Stakes also attracting a strong field of 13.
Pirate Ben will be Lane’s first ever runner in the Wyong Gold Cup and the trainer is excited about to chance to win his home track cup.
“Most trainers want to win their home cup and its honestly a thrill to just have a runner in it so it would be an even bigger thrill if we were able to win it,” Lane said.
He starts the in-form six-year-old after gaining confidence following his last start success in the $80, 000 Taree Cup.
“It was a good win as he had been racing without a lot of luck in town and it all kind of worked out for him at Taree,” he said.
There is a sharp rise in class from the Taree Cup to the Wyong Cup but Lane believes given a good run in transit he can see the horse being very competitive.
“Before Taree we were thinking he would have to win or run an unlucky second or third to justify a start in the Wyong Cup, so after his win it is definitely worth a having a crack.
“We are under no illusions that this is a lot stronger race than Taree but he is down in the weights and gets his home track, where it usually favours on speed runners and we should be in the first four in running.
“The trip isn’t a concern for him as he is as fit as ever now having had a couple of starts over 2200m at Warwick Farm and the last start win over 2000m.
“The 54kgs will also be a help. There are also some class horses down in the weights with him but he still gets a fair bit of relief from the top weights.”
Pirate Ben will be ridden by Travis Wolfgram, hoping to make it back to back wins on the gelding.
Fellow Wyong trainer Allan Kehoe will saddle up Get on the Grange in the Cup as he attempts to go one better than last year, where he finished second to the Kris Lees trained Slow Pace.
Get on the Grange has been racing very consistently lately including a win at Doomben and a second in the Grafton Cup.
Kris Lees will be looking to claim back to back Cups with his runner Singing.
An Australian Bloodstock French import, Singing has only had the six starts for Lees and goes into this 2100m event first up, where he has won twice previously first up over the same distance.
Lees stable rider Andrew Gibbons will ride Singing and will be looking for his first Cup success.
While the Chris Waller trained Sayed looks a dominant favourite on paper but there are plenty of chances in what should prove to be a great race.
Waller will be vying for his sixth Cup victory since 2010 with the early Metropolitan favourite, while the Waterhouse/ Bott stable with saddle up another Metropolitan bound galloper and last start winner Dee I Cee.
The Getaway, trained by Paul Perry, will take his place in the field after qualifying for entry with a strong win in last Sunday’s Cup prelude over the 2100m.
Race 1 – 12:50PM BIOCHEM WATER CG&E MAIDEN PLATE (1200 METRES) 1 Showtime, 2 Silverwin, 3 Hail the Hero, 4 Explosive Missile
Race 2 – 1:25PM SENPOS F&M MAIDEN PLATE (1200 METRES) 1 Mystic Empire, 2 Torvill, 3 African Rainbow, 4 Lightning Nic
Race 3 – 2:05PM HUNTER PETROLEUM PRODUCTS DA VINCI – 3&4YO BENCHMARK 71 HANDICAP (1300 METRES) 1 Princess Posh, 2 Schubert, 3 Pindara, 4 Feirin
Race 4 – 2:40PM BISHOP COLLINS ACCOUNTANTS BENCHMARK 65 HANDICAP (1600 METRES) 1 Coys, 2 High Tranquillity, 3 Concisely, 4 Tatoosh
Race 5 – 3:20PM THE DOYLO SPRINGTIME – BENCHMARK 75 HANDICAP (1100 METRES) 1 Sisken, 2 Rosa Carolina, 3 Golden Shoes, 4 Fox Tales
Race 6 – 3:55PM WINNING COMMERCIAL MONA LISA STAKES (1350 METRES) 1 Sweet Redemption, 2 Imposing Lass, 3 Rocket Commander, 4 Hetty Heights
Race 7 – 4:35PM 2017 CARLTON MID WYONG GOLD CUP (2100 METRES) 1 Sayed, 2 Singing, 3 Destiny’s Kiss, 4 Pirate Ben
Race 8 – 5:10PM HC GROUP CLASS 2 HANDICAP(SCALED -1.0KG) (1200 METRES) 1 Raiden, 2 Piracy, 3 Sebring Express, 4 Never Out