James Ponsonby has the Carlton Wyong Gold Cup in his sights if his stayer Alloway can taste success in Sunday’s Cup Prelude.
The Wandjina five-year-old has been racing in good form since joining the Ponsonby stable earlier this year, with a win and two placings from his five runs.
He starts from barrier 10 in the 2100m BM68 Cup Prelude, the feature race on day one of the Cup Carnival, with the winner earning automatic entry to Friday’s $200,000 Listed Carlton Wyong Gold Cup.
And the trainer believes if he can race up to the form which saw him placed second in the 2200m Listed Tasmanian Guineas, he will be right in the finish come Sunday.
“I was pleased to see him race well at Wyong in his first win for me on June 16 over the 2000m,” he said. “His subsequent start at Hawkesbury was good and he went really well in the Highway last start.
“He’s drawn a bit wider than I would prefer but he seems to be a horse that puts himself handy to the pace.
“Winona (Costin) knows him well and she can hopefully roll forward from the barrier and have him up there. It’s a nice even field, not unlike a Highway race, and I give him a good opportunity.”
Ponsonby said he wouldn’t have any qualms pushing onto the Wyong Cup if Alloway were to win.
“I’d have no hesitation at all. Obviously, it’s a much stronger race and he’d have to keep improving but he gets over the 2000m and is racing well.”
Ponsonby saddles up two other runners at the meeting, Walk Up Start in the 1600m Prov & Ctry Maiden and Dark Satin in the 1600m Class 1 and believes all three are definite chances.
Kristen Buchanan represents the locals in the Cup Prelude with Oakfield Pinto and while acknowledging he is up in grade, also gives him a good chance.
The Dundeel five-year-old, coming off a last start win at Newcastle over 1600m, will start from barrier one with Rachel King aboard.
“He was quite impressive last start but in saying that he sort of got left alone and may not get those favours on Sunday. He’s placed at this trip and is weighted pretty well with 55kg.
“He’s very cool, calm and collected and we thought this was worth a throw at the stumps. It would be very exciting to get him through to the Cup.”
The first of eight races gets underway at 12.20pm.
RACE 1 – 12.20PM: THE AGENCY 3YO MAIDEN (1200m): 1 HAWAIII FIVE OH, 2 Dear Jewel, 3 Villa Tinto, 4 Eagle Nest
RACE 2 – 1.00PM: JOHNNIE ROBERTS MEMORIAL PROV & CTRY MAIDEN (1600m): 1 SOLAROSA, 2 Speedy Song, 3 Wheni Sayucan, 4 Gingembre
RACE 3 – 1.40PM: MAGIC MILLIONS RACING WOMEN LA GIOCONDA – F&M BM68 (1600m): 1 SANSTOC, 2 Sebring’s Rose, 3 Eve ‘N’ Ruby, 4 Clear Blonde
RACE 4 – 2.20PM: GURNEY FINANCIAL SERVICES 4YO&UP MAIDEN (1100m): 1 DIAMOND FLARE, 2 Sir Crackle, 3 Bringonthebubbles, 4 Mad Darcey
RACE 5 – 3.00PM: ROBSON CIVIL PROJECTS WYONG CUP PRELUDE BM68 (2100m): 1 DENILIQUIN, 2 Legend Has It, 3 Mirror Queen, 4 Oakfield Pinto
RACE 6 – 3.40pm: DREW CHIVAS MEMORIAL CLASS 1 (1600m): 1 PRIZE DRAW, 2 Stonecoat, 3 Dark Satin, 4 Lady Superspy
RACE 7 – 4.15pm: CARE 2 THE MAX BM64 (1350m): 1 MAYHEM, 2 Jacquine Reward, 3 Budhwar, 4 Uncaged
RACE 8 – 4.50pm: DEBBIE GAUNT FOUNDATION BM64 (1000m): 1 PER IVY, 2 Forms Of Fear, 3 Don’t Doubt Katie, 4 Reach For Gold