WALCHA Jockey Club secretary Kevin Ferrier reckons the Walcha track could be a Dead 4 by race time tomorrow. If so then Rosehill trainer Tim Martin thinks that will be “perfect” as he tries to win his first Walcha Cup with Brave Ali.
He said his six-year-old gelding, who is resuming from a long spell, wouldn’t have started on a hard track.
“Cathy Brennan (Walcha trainer) told me the track is the best it’s ever been,” Martin said yesterday.
When WJC secretary confirmed that rating, Martin was delighted and certain to start his son of O’Reilly, who has won four of his 17 starts.
“It could be a Dead 4 or 5 by race day too,” Ferrier also said earlier this week when the track was officially rated a Slow 6.
“That would be perfect, taking the jar out of the ground. It’s looking a picture.”
Ferrier mowed the track Tuesday afternoon and said not only the racing surface but the whole course is in great nick.
All of which enthused Martin.
“I’d like to get up there but I know if I go I won’t get home,” he joked of what has always been a marvellous home town cup carnival for him.
Now based at Rosehill he has won “three or four” Ron Martin Memorial Maidens but has been unable to win a Walcha Cup.
“No, I’ve won four Maidens but never a Cup.
“It’d be nice to win it this year with this horse. All of his owners are from Armidale.”
Brave Ali is owned by the leading trainer in Hong Kong but raced on lease by an Armidale syndicate including St Kilda licensee Harley Payne, Armidale Jockey Club secretary Jim Dedes and Armidale Jockey Club president Rod Watt.
“It’s a good race for him,” Martin said.
“He races well fresh. He won first up at Goulburn last time in. I was going to run him at Kembla next week but now the track is good I’ll take him up there. He’ll go well fresh but it’s a good race too. Kris Lees’ horse (Pitt Street) will be hard to beat. Prior Baron too.” While Brave Ali drew 13 his brother’s horse, Mafioso, the first emergency drew 16 but will get a run as Rod Northam’s second Cup entrant, Okane, will start at Canterbury tomorrow evening.
While Brave Ali runs in the Cup Martin said Bonsai would start in the Ron Martin Maiden and He’s a Knockout in the last race of the day, the Tamac Stud Farm Class 3 Handicap (1440m).