SUE GRILLS has a double chance of securing a Walcha Cup start at Armidale today when the Tamworth trainer runs Monashee Woods and Studio Star in the Huthchinson & Harlow Real Estate Walcha Cup Prelude (1300m).
The reigning HNWRA trainers’ premiership holder is coming off a good win at Scone as well.
Grills won the Northern Meteor Class 3 Handicap (1300m) in the last hop with Darcey at Scone on Friday.
Darcey grabbed Greg Bennett’s Kartini in the last bound for a half head win.
It was Darcey’s third in a 12-start career.
“It was a good win,” Grills said.
“His third win. He’s always been an honest and consistent horse.”
That’s what Studio Star has been throughout his 58 previous runs.
A 10-year-old son of Fasliyev, he has won nine times with another 22 placings and just over $194,000 in prizemoney.
His last five runs have produced three thirds a second and a fourth. Last time out he was beaten less than two lengths by Floral Insight in the Inverell Shorts.
“And Floral Insight went on to run a good third in Sydney after that and make the form look good,” Grills said.
“He’s drawn well too (4) but I haven’t done much with him since Inverell (January 1). He swims a lot.”
Monashee Woods has also drawn well (1) and comes off a fifth at Doomben over 1300m on January 16.
“He got stuck on the fence and couldn’t get out,” Grills said.
“When he finally did the race was gone. He’s been working well enough since and has drawn well too.”
Mitch Hayward rides Studio Star and claims 2kg off his 60.5kg impost while stable apprentice, Sophie Young, claims 2kg off Monashee Woods’ 59kg.
It’s a busy day for Grills as she also has Lionira (R4), Manor Girl (R5) and Maximoo (R7) running today.
“Manor Girl has been going well,” she said.
“Won a Gunnedah maiden last start but steps up into a Class 2 Plate at Armidale. Had to, there’s nothing around for her.”
Grills was worried about the track condition following heavy rain in Armidale and whether Armidale would race.
A 7am track inspection will decide that today.