Allan Kehoe has no qualms about taking on the ‘big boys’ in this Friday’s Carlton Wyong Gold Cup.
Kehoe saddles up Dragon Dream, the only local runner in the $200,000 Listed feature and despite the five-year-old being eligible for much weaker races, he believes he deserves a chance in his hometown cup.
“They may be too good for him on Friday, but he ticks a lot of boxes and I give him a rough chance,” Kehoe said.
“The weather is the key. He has really strong form on heavy tracks so if the predicted rain comes, his chances will improve.
“This is the best preparation he’s had. He’s a good sound horse, the distance certainly won’t worry him, and he gets around Wyong well.”
Dragon Dream is coming off a last start second at Gosford over the 2100m, the run impressing jockey Willie Pike.
“He thought he was a nice horse and was ready to win for us, but obviously that was in a lower grade.
“He’s a half-brother to multiple Group One winner Dark Dream and is bred to stay. I think he’ll get up over 2400m or further and is an exciting prospect for us.
“We’ve all got to dream, and it would certainly be a fantastic dream if we won the Cup.”
Dragon Dream is up against a strong contingent of Waller runners, with seven lining up for the stable in the field of 12.
Waller has dominated the Wyong Cup in recent years and is chasing his eighth Cup victory since 2010. His last win coming with Wu Gok in 2019.
The in-form Lord Ardmore looks to have the goods on his rivals, having put together two wins and two placings from his four starts this preparation, his latest victory in the Premiers Cup Prelude at Randwick on August 6.
The Waterhouse/Bott stable will also be out to upset the Waller party with Grove Ferry, who is coming off strong runs in both the Premiers Cup and Premier’s Prelude, where he was runner up.
Wyong trainers are well represented in the Listed $160,000 Wyong Leagues Group Mona Lisa with Kristen Buchanan saddling up Pandora Blue and Flandersrain, Tracey Bartley Miss Redoble and Damien Lane Sonnet Star.
The race has attracted a strong field of 16, with Waller chasing a feature double with talented Niconi mare Sur La Mer, who has put together five wins and seven placings from her 17 starts.
The first of eight races gets underway at 12.45pm.
Race 1 – 12.45pm: STONE REAL ESTATE WYONG 4YO&UP MAIDEN (1350m): 1 NANO STAR, 2 Notabadsuspect, 3 Developed, 4 Tyquendo.
Race 2 – 1.20pm: CENTRAL COAST COOLROOMS DA VINCE – 3YO & 4YO BM64 (1300m): 1 I AM GERONIMO, 2 Sumatra, 3 Verzenay, 4 Starstruck Barbie.
Race 3 – 1.55pm: PBL LAW GROUP MAIDEN (1200m): 1 ORZALA, 2 Time To Boogie, 3 Miss Artfire, 4 London.
Race 4 – 2.35pm: HUNTER PETROLEUM PRODUCTS CLASS 1 (1100m): BAYEZID, 2 Transformation, 3 Acappella Sun, 4 Acceber.
Race 5 – 3.10pm: BISHOP COLLINS CHARTERED ACCOUNTS BM64 (1600m): 1 COPPLESON, 2 Kokoro, 3 Martini Crusader, 4 Prefect Match.
Race 6 – 3.50pm: WYONG LEAGUES CLUB MONA LISA STAKES (1350m): 1 EXPAT, 2 Sur La Mer, 3 Dalchini, 4 Boomnova.
Race 7 – 4.25pm: 2022 CARLTON WYONG GOLD CUP (2100m): 1 LA CHEVALEE, 2 Lord Ardmore, 3 Our Intrigue, 4 Grove Ferry.
Race 8 – 5.05pm: THE DOYLE SPRINGTIME CONDITIONAL BM68 (1100m): 1 OAKFIELD DUKE, 2 Bullinachinashop, 3 Tinka’s Lad, 4 Land Of Valens.