Kerry Weir’s affinity with the Young Cup will continue on Saturday, with the Tumut trainer setting both Foxlike and Billo Road for the $11,000 feature race.
Weir won the last edition of the Young Cup, with Bondo greeting the judge first in 2019, while in 2017, Go Get ‘Em got the job done, before running a game fourth in 2018.
In fact, Weir has trained six horses to win Young Turf Club’s 1600m feature event, while during his days as a jockey, he also rode his way to a Young Cup victory.
“The meeting just falls at the right time of year for us,” Weir said.
“Our winter horses are coming back in and summer horses are going out and it falls at the right time for a lot of our horses.”
Weir said a ‘testing’ straight and undulating course made it a tough race to win.
“It suits horses that race on the lead, there is a bit of an uphill section and a downhill,” Weir said.
“It’s a pretty testing track down the straight and a long run home, so you need to be strong.”
Weir doesn’t have a jockey lined up for Foxlike at this stage, while stable hoop, Megan creed is set to ride Billo Road.
While he struggled to split them, Weir was leaning towards Foxlike.
“He will get the run of the race, he’ll go back and power home,” Weir said.
“Plus, he has had one start at the track for one win.”
Weir wasn’t writing off Billo Road just yet, after his galloper won the Hillston Cup three starts ago before finishing third in the Leeton Cup.
The six-year-old was then outclassed in a very tough Benchmark 66 at Wagga during the Gold Cup carnival, but put in a good effort to finish 4.59 lengths of the eventual winner.
“Don’t get me wrong, Billo (Road) is going good, but I thought the race would pan out better for the other fella,” Weir said.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if he won, his runs at Leeton and Hillston were first class and this race isn’t too strong.”
Either way, Weir believed he had two leading chances come Saturday.
“They both can win,” Weir said.
“They both went around at the Wagga Cup carnival, and they were out of their depth and needed the run, but they weren’t disgraced and this race should suit.”
Weir could also take Touchable Witness to Young on Saturday, with his three-year-old drawing gate five and the services of Megan Creed in the 1300m Maiden Plate, although connections are considering their options, as he is also drawn in gate four in the 1280m Maiden Handicap at Canberra today.
“He may be going to Young, but he is also in at Canberra and it will be up to the owners,” Weir said.
In a big day of racing at Young, Gundagai trainer Dave Blundell also has 2020 Gundagai Cup winner, Monkery, set to contest the Young Cup.
The known mudlark might not enjoy the firmer ground, but connections have drawn well with gate one, while apprentice hoop Amy McLucas is on board, offering a two-kilogram claim.
Blundell also has Only A Dream racing in the 1400m Class One Handicap, and Julia Presits will take the ride after connections drew gate one.
Tumbarumba trainer, George Dimitropoulos will definitely have My Solaki and Mouse Almighty engaged to race at Young, with My Solaki (gate eight) slated to start in the 1200m Benchmark 50 Handicap and Mouse Almighty (gate eight) looking to contest the 1000m Benchmark 58 Handicap.
“I think I am a good chance with both of them,” Dimitropoulos said.
Tumbarumba product, Molly Bourke, will get her fourth and fifth race starts at Young, when jumping aboard both runners, and Dimitropoulos is hoping they can help her to her first winner.
“That’s what I’m aiming for, and she should be a good chance, but you never know,” Dimitropoulos said.
“She is going well and we are starting her off with non-TAB meetings and you will see her racing at TAB meetings soon.”
Fellow Tumbarumba trainer, Graham Byatt will have one runner at Young, with Willybeafactor drawing gate four in the 1400m Class One, while Amy McLucas will take the ride.
Gundagai trainer, Todd Smart will be in action too, with Underthespotlight (gate 3) contesting the 1000m Benchmark 58 Handicap and Mr Maharaaj (gate 10) in the 1200m Benchmark 50 Handicap.
Apprentice jockey, Jess Del Frari will take both rides, offering a three-kilogram claim.