Wolfe out to end visitors dominance in Albany Cup
Albany trainer Steve Wolfe’s hopes of a fourth Albany Cup crown rest with rising stayer War Ksar which drew ideally in barrier five in Sunday’s $100,000 Wellington & Reeves Real Estate Albany Cup (2070m).
The leading Great Southern trainer will be out to end the recent dominance of visiting trainers in the region’s richest staying feature race with the victory of Jobeth back in 2012 the last time a local trainer has landed cup success.
Seven of the last eight editions of the historic cup have been won by visiting trainers, mainly thanks to Adam Durrant who has racked up five of those while Ningaloo Blitz won the race for Dan Morton in 2015 and last year Zarantz proved too strong to give Lindsey Smith his first success in the event.
Wolfe was upbeat about War Ksar’s chances in the Easter feature race as he looks to add to the success of Jobeth (2012), Impact Rating (2008) and Try A Tune (2007).
The talented five-year-old worked strongly over two laps on the course proper yesterday morning and Wolfe said he was raring to go.
“I’m really happy with the horse,” Wolfe said.
“He probably doesn’t need to be in this race yet but he has come on really strongly this prep.
“At the weights it will be difficult, (Wayside) looks a weight certainty after getting no penalty for winning the Geraldton Cup.
“But I’m really happy with our bloke and he’ll be there, he keeps improving.”
Senior rider Troy Turner has been engaged, replacing Peter Hall who guided him to a thrilling victory over 2200m at Ascot in Saturday grade earlier this month.
Wolfe said he felt for Hall, who was unable to make the minimum 54kg weight that War Ksar received.
Fellow Albany trainer Roy Rogers also looms as a chance to end the visitors reign with last-start winner Ready To Fire among the 12-horse field.
Ready To Fire was a brilliant winner in Albany last week over 1900m at her second start for Rogers but her hopes were dealt a blow with gate 11 at yesterday’s barrier draw.
“She is really well,” Rogers said.
“From that gate she will have to try and press forward and get a spot but she has terrific gate speed.”
Top hoop Shaun O’Donnell retains the mount on the Musket mare who will also carry 54kg.
Albany galloper Cestrinus will also contest the race for trainer Bruce Thomas and local apprentice Casey Hunter while Mt Barker’s Dave Hopperton has consistent type Sassenach running.
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