CLEVER Hans might be topweight and one of the favourites for today’s $30,000 Elders Walcha Cup (1440m) but the Tamworth gelding will bypass the feature race to start in Brisbane tomorrow.
The gelding’s Tamworth trainer, Leon Davies, believes his six-year-old gelding son of Viscount is better suited to tomorrow’s $45,000 Mitty’s Open Handicap (1500m) at Eagle Farm.
While he drew barrier four in the Walcha Cup, he has drawn even better in two in a smaller seven-horse field at Eagle Farm.
“It’s a tougher race on a tougher track,” Davies said of the Walcha Cup.
“He’s drawn well at Walcha but even better in Brisbane and there’s going to be plenty of speed on at Walcha.”
Clever Hans is “flying” in track work as well.
“Absolutely flying,” Davies emphasised.
“He is getting better with every run.
“It was a bonus he won first up (Summer Cup, Coffs Harbour) and he did have a tough run at Scone (second to Okane) last start.
“Priscilla (Schmidt) claims three up in Brisbane too so he comes into the race with 55kg.”
Davies will have a Walcha presence though, with Dimensional running in the first race today while Kurtley could also start in the last although he could go to Brisbane as a travelling companion for Clever Hans.
“I haven’t decided yet,” Davies said.
“He drew 15 of 15 at Walcha so that makes it hard.
“There’s plenty of pace in that race as well.
“We might take the risk with him and chase more prizemoney against better horses.”
It’s a busy weekend for Davies as he also has runners at Walcha and Coonabarabran tomorrow.
“It’s a big day at Coona for their bushfire appeal,” he said.
“I’ve got two good chances out there. We want to help as much as we can.”
Meanwhile, Craig Martin has a “bit of Walcha” in all his Walcha Cup and Maiden runners today.
Martin runs first emergency Mafioso in the Cup and Carnavon and Witches Britches in the Ron Martin Memorial Maiden.
Mafioso is raced by a syndicate including breeder and Walcha president Jim Nivison.
Witches Britches was bred by Matt Macarthur-Onslow and raced by a Walcha syndicate while Jill Nivison bred Carnavon.
“Yeah there’s a little bit of Walcha in all my runners,” Craig Martin quipped.
“They haven’t drawn that well though.”
Mafioso drew 16 while Witches Britches has 13 and Carnavon seven in the Maiden.
“There’s not much you can do about it,” Martin said.
“Mafioso has missed a few runs too. He hasn’t started for 40 days.
“He missed a run at Armidale (washed out) and then a trial here.
“He probably needed a run in between but he’s had plenty of work and hopefully that will be enough racing fresh.”