CRAIG Martin’s Tamworth Cup celebrations could start a day early.
The Tamworth trainer will start Walcha Cup-winning Jefferson Park in tomorrow’s $80,000 Carlton Mid Tamworth Cup (1400m) as well as Dollar Dan in the $25,000 Sean Hofman Electrical Mornington Handicap (2100m).
While they have good chances, Martin’s best chance might be at Eagle Farm today where Quirindi Cup winner Brave Ali runs in the $80,000 Listed 50 Years Of Ramsay Health Care JRA Tails Stakes (2128m).
Martin left the seven-year-old Brave Ali with Brisbane trainer Tony Gollan after he won a 2100m Doomben event last month.
Brave Ali then won over 2030m, leading all the way again, at his last outing.
It helped make Martin’s family holiday to Vanuatu possible.
And he arrived back this week to find Brave Ali was in great fettle.
“He was thriving when I took him up,” Martin said yesterday.
“He might stay up there now.
“There’s no sense in bringing him home and then carting him backwards and forwards.
“But I have to talk to his owners about that.”
Brave Ali is raced by a large Armidale syndicate.
He has now won three of his last four races, including the Quirindi Cup.
His only blemish was a disappointing fifth to Dusty’s Felt in the Armidale Cup when favourite.
“Another one took him on, never gave him him any peace and he over-raced,” was Martin’s simple assessment of a thoroughbred who is a terrible traveller.
While today looms large, tomorrow’s Cup meeting is a busy one for Martin.
He has five runners including Dollar Dan in the Mornington and Jefferson Park in the Cup.
Dollar Dan is a talented galloper, he said.
“He’s only won one race but he still cops a heap of weight,” Martin said.
He rates him a better horse, potentially, than Brave Ali.
Dollar Dan was rated a 7-1 equal second favourite in the Mornington.
Jefferson Park was also quoted a 7-1 chance in the Tamworth Cup.
Martin was considering scratching him when he drew 16.
“I’m not as bad off as Ross Stitt, he drew 17 and 18 (with Single Spirit and Youthful Jack).
“I was thinking about scratching because it’s too hard to win from out there however they could go up front and fan at the turn.
“They did that a few years back (Centover came from last to beat Ready As by a half head) and last year with Prussian Secret.
“But he will come out of 12.
“Three horses have won from 12 in the last six years.
“He’s an 80 (benchmark) rater on the limit (54kg).
“That will never happen again.
And he’s on his home track.
“He looks well and he’s been working well.
“He keeps ticking all the boxes for me.
“It is a massive ask to win from out there but then again they might all go mad up front and he’ll be out the back smoking his pipe.”
That was how Knot Out won the Tamworth Cup Prelude last week.