Trainers’ premiership comes down to the wire

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Albany trainer Steve Wolfe.
Camera IconAlbany trainer Steve Wolfe. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

The race to claim the Great Southern Trainers’ Premiership remains tight with rivals Steve Wolfe and Roy Rogers separated by 21/2 wins heading into the final two meetings.

Albany will hold the penultimate meeting of the Great Southern season this afternoon with the most dominant local trainer of the past decade Wolfe in the lead on 28 wins.

Wolfe has been challenged throughout the season by Rogers, who is enjoying a career best season with 251/2 wins and can still well and truly claim his first trainers’ title.

Today’s card will be crucial to how the title race plays out with Wolfe saddling up 14 runners across the seven events while Rogers has six runners, including two gallopers in race five.

With runners in every race, Wolfe will have plenty of chances to take his tally towards 30 wins in another impressive season.

Maiden galloper War Class looks well placed in the Eclipse Refrigeration Maiden (1230m) at his third start and four-year-old Bentley’s Brother is out to end a run of three consecutive placings in race three.

Sir Snugalot and Captivated Point both firm as contenders in the BP Roadhouse Williams Handicap (1100m) and last start winner Apollo will aim to make it successive wins in the region.

The Wolfe stable will also have promising three-year-old’s Triggerfish and Mygirlfrankie resume from spells in the Aqua Ice Handicap (1230m) that has attracted a capacity field of 15 runners.

Stable jockey Shaun McGruddy returns to Albany this afternoon, taking the plum mounts on War Class, Boxonlucy, Mygirlfrankie and Apollo.

Messiah, Tranquilla Sunrise and Read The Riot Act head Rogers’chances while Sea Spring was impressive last start but will have to overcome a wide gate to figure today.

With regular hoop Daniel Staeck stood down, Andrew Castle will take rides on five of the six Rogers runners.

Classy customers Lordhelpmerun and Red Can Man will be the star attractions of today’s barrier trial, both on their way back from a break for the Wolfe camp.

Rogers’ star sprinter Captain Stirling will face his biggest test yet when he tackles Sunday’s Group 3 $150,000 Northam Stakes (1100m).

Captain Stirling won three races in succession after joining Rogers in mid-2018 and in February blew his rivals away with a dominant 21/2-length win over 1000m at Pinjarra.

The four-year-old ran sixth to Valour Road over 1000m last start at Ascot and carries 55kg from barrier 11 with Castle replacing Staeck in the saddle.

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