DESPITE Circle of Fame finishing a solid second in last year’s 1900m Armidale Gold Cup, trainer Ruth Cooper has opted to bypass that feature on Monday and start the gelding at Scone today.
Instead Cooper’s Armidale Cup hopes will centre on Mullet Man.
The gelding, who has won twice at Armidale, will be ridden by (Glenn Lynch) in Monday’s $35,000 Tooheys New Armidale Gold Cup (1900m).
“He’s won on the track. And he’s a chance,” she said.
“He was a bit underdone in his last start (when three lengths sixth to Kwilas Law in the 1900m Armidale Cup Prelude a fortnight ago). But he won his start prior to that.”
On that occasion, Mullet Man beat Kwilas Law in a 2200m Benchmark at Scone mid-January.
“He should be a better horse this time round.”
Accompanying Mullet Man to Armidale will be Pepper Legs (1400m maiden plate), Beached As (1100m three-year-old and upwards maiden), last start winner Hauser (1900m class three) and Coco Dubawi in the 1400m benchmark 55 handicap.
“I think Hauser is probably my best chance. He’s won on the track and that’s a plus, and he should sit about midfield and come home from there.
“Beached As is unlikely to start, and the other two probably need a bit more time.”
Meanwhile, nine-year-old Circle Of Fame, to be ridden by apprentice Matthew Powell, will be having his second start back from a spell when he takes on rivals in today’s $15,000 Philip Hanna Memorial Benchmark 60 Handicap (1600m) at Scone.
But a one hurdle for the gelding could be the outside barrier, according to Cooper.
“He’s drawn 14 from 14,” she said.
“He’ll go okay, but from out there, he may need a bit more time. From that barrier, he could be a bit underdone.”
Cooper will now pencil in a possible start in the 2100m Mornington Prelude at Tamworth on April 15.
“We’ll probably go down that track,” she said.
Prior to being spelled back in November, Circle of Fame won over 2100m on a heavy Tamworth track.