Kerry Weir looks to have a couple of live chances at Wagga Riverside on Saturday, with Jounama and Crocodile Cod engaged.
Jounama has Simon Miller in the saddle and will contest the 1050m Benchmark 58 Handicap.
The Zoffany mare typically takes a few runs to get going and was a little disappointing first up, but really caught the eye second up last start, when storming home for a fourth placing in the 1175m Benhcmark 58 at Albury last week.
“I was a little disappointed with her run at the cup carnival and if you look at the replays, the inside wasn’t the place to be,” Weir said.
“Her last start was a terrific run, like Simon (Miller) said after the run, she was carrying 61kg and she was making ground,and the three horses that beat her home where were on the minimum.”
Weir admitted it could sometimes take the Andy and Sue Groves owned runner a few runs to get fit but said he had worked her a little harder in the lead up to this preparation.
“It usually takes her three or four to get fit and she is an older mare these days, so I was a little tougher on her this time round,” Weir said.
The Tumut trainer believes the shorter distance could work to Jounama’s advantage, especially if they run along up front.
“I‘ve used this preparation once before and she won at Gundagai,” Weir said.
”She doesn’t go as well when she is pulling along and will settle nicely if they run her along and we know she will be storming home.”
Weir believes his best chance of a win on Saturday will be with Crocodile Cod, who will contest the 1660m Maiden Plate.
Simon Miller is again in the saddle and the three-year-old has been knocking on the door of a maiden victory in recent times.
Crocodile Cod most recently finished a game third in a Class One/Maiden at the same track and distance and before that finishing second in a Class One/Maiden over 2000m.
The youngster will relish the opportunity to race against his own class and should be thereabouts when it is all said and done.
“He is starting to learn what it is all about, his last three runs have been genuinely good,” Weir said.
“My instructions will be to lead at all cost, if he can roll along in front, he will be hard to beat.”
The popular trainer still believes his Cluster gelding will make a nice stayer but said there are limited opportunities for him at the moment.
“He is definitely a better 2000m type but there just isn’t any races for him at the moment, Racing NSW have been doing their best but we need more staying events,” Weir said.
Weir also has O’Bella Bai nominated for the meeting, with the O’Lonhro mare currently 23 in order of entry for the 1050m Maiden Handicap.
“I didn’t book a jockey and I don’t think she will get a run, she is well down on the list,” Weir said.
The four-year-old looked in need of a run first up and Weir suggested she probably needs another hit out before being a realistic chance of winning her maiden race.
“Kayla (Nisbet) couldn’t hold her first up, she just pulled like a train and she went for 800m and knocked up like I thought she would,” Weir said.
“She hadn’t trialed in 12 months and she probably needs another run to get fit enough to be a chance.”