Stable eyes better prospects at Mt Barker
Classy stayer Rhino Buster enters Sunday’s $35,000 Tabtouch Mt Barker Cup (2000m) in very similar fashion to last year, but connections are hopeful this year’s edition will have a much better outcome.
Twelve months ago, the Rod Brown-trained Rhino Buster was one of the fancies in the Mt Barker Cup, which was abandoned after stewards deemed a section of track unsafe at Mt Barker Turf Club.
MBTC has been battling similar issues in recent weeks after losing two meetings because of a waterlogged section of the track in the home straight.
Racing and Wagering WA announced on Monday the MBTC track had been passed fit to race this weekend but it would continue to be monitored during the week.
Rhino Buster had produced a rapid rise through the grades, from winning a maiden to running second in the Esperance Cup in the same campaign and then heading to Mt Barker for what turned out to be a non-event last season. The tough five-year-old gelding enters the 2018 Mt Barker Cup having run second to Scooner in the Esperance Cup (2030m) on March 4 after racing wide for most of the event.
Stable representative Josh Brown said the camp was confident the Danehill Express gelding would be in the finish on Sunday.
“Last year he went leading horse in Esperance and it wasn’t the ideal lead-up to the Mt Barker Cup,” Brown said.
“This time we’ve set him for the Esperance, Mt Barker and Albany cups and he’s got a lot more in the tank. “He hasn’t missed a beat since the Esperance Cup and was pretty unlucky in that being wide all the way. He is a lot stronger horse this year.”
Brown said his stable had a healthy respect for the solid field of 12 runners, eight of which will carry the minimum 54kg.
Top jockey Daniel Staeck, chasing his fourth cup, will be aboard Rhino Buster, who will jump from barrier one with 58kg on his back.
Barzinho will have his third start back from a spell in the feature race for the strong metropolitan stable of Chris Gangemi with Jarrad Noske engaged from gate six.
Leading rider Mitchell Pateman has secured the ride on the Darren McAuliffe-trained Master Magician, who will be resuming in the event, while Powercraft and Ready To Fire head the local chances.
A strong 14-horse field will contest the $21,500 Skyracing.Tv Provincial Championship Heat (1300m) on the same card of eight races.
The first race is at 1.10pm, with the Mt Barker Cup set down for 5.05pm.
CAMERON NEWBOLD’S MT BARKER SELECTIONS
Race 1: Happy Harry
Race 2: Strip The Moon
Race 3: Peabody
Race 4: Shadow Boxer
Race 5: American Joy
Race 6: Diamond Tonique
Race 7: Rhino Buster
Race 8: Queen Tori
Best Bet: American Joy
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