Wayside at his peak for Albany Cup
Geraldton Cup winner Wayside has improved from his slashing performance 11 days ago and is cherry ripe for Sunday’s $100,000 Wellington & Reeves Real Estate Albany Cup (2070m), according to trainer Todd Harvey.
Co-trainers Robert and Todd Harvey have only had four starts with the six-year-old gelding but were able to win the Geraldton Cup earlier this month by three lengths in that fourth run. Wayside is expected to claim favouritism in this year’s edition of the cup after not going up in weight after his feature race win on the Batavia Coast and then drawing ideally in barrier four.
Jockey Shaun McGruddy will again ride the gelding.
Harvey believes the Geraldton Cup run has his galloper at peak fitness.
“I think he has definitely taken benefit from running over that trip,” Harvey said. “Our only concern heading into Geraldton was he might be a bit underdone, but then he won so easily.
“I definitely think he is better than what he was in Geraldton.
“That run has him at his peak for this.
“The draw and weight will suit us again and I’m pretty confident he’ll run well.”
Wayside galloped on Tuesday and will do pace work today in preparation for the staying feature race. Fellow co-trainers Grant and Alana Williams will be out to win their first Albany Cup with Falcon Crest.
Falcon Crest ran well to finish second to Wayside in the Geraldton Cup and ran fourth in the Bunbury Cup before that, with champion WA jockey William Pike engaged.
The five-year-old came up with barrier three and will carry 56kg, one of only two horses not to carry the minimum 54kg.
The Lou Luciani-trained Tonto is the top weight in the race with 58.5kg after running second in the listed Detonator Stakes in February.
Jarrad Noske will ride Tonto, who finished 7½ lengths behind Material Man in the Bunbury Cup and rises 1kg in weight from that run.
The Albany Cup is one of two feature races on the bumper 10-race program and is set down for 4.15pm.
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