HOMETOWN horse racing trainer Kerry Weir is preparing to launch an assault on the Tumut Cup on Saturday.
The Tumut-based Weir said he would have a total of six entries nominated at Saturday’s meeting, including one in the main race.
He is hoping to emulate the feat of his previous Tumut Cup winner Universal Pack.
Universal Pack finished second in the Tumut Cup in 2010, but backed up the following year to emerge victorious.
Weir described Universal Pack as a “good old horse that won six or seven of the country cups”.
This year, Weir’s cup hope in the 1400-metre race will be four-year-old gelding Red Hill.
Out of Denman (sire) and Yorkshire Lily (dam), Red Hill’s career boasts two wins and six placings from his 21 starts.
Weir is hoping for a reversal of form from Red Hill’s most recent start at Tumbarumba on January 27 when he finished last of the six runners.
“You can forget his last start; he had a shocking run,” he said.
“It’s a difficult track there as they go around the Victorian way (anti-clockwise) and with that hill there, he just didn’t handle it.
“He had a bad run there, but his form before that was quite good.”
At his most recent outing at the Tumut track on January 13, Red Hill finished third of 10 runners, when lumping a hefty weight of 59kgs over the same distance as the cup.
Weir believes running Red Hill at his home track could be an advantage.
“He might be a little bit out of his grade in the cup field, but he’s one of the horses we had that’s suitable over the cup distance,” he said.
“We’ll be looking for an upturn in form from him.
“He’ll be a bit of a roughie but he has some hope.
“It takes a couple of runs for the horses to get used to the tight track there, but it’s our home track and our town’s cup – that’s why we’re in it.”
The Tumut Cup will put the town in the limelight and on the world stage to a certain extent as it will be screened throughout Australia and in some other parts of the world on Sky Racing.
Weir realises the meeting’s importance.
“When it became a TAB meeting it just exploded,” he said.
“It’s a big day that attracts a massive crowd and it attracts trainers and horses from all over; they come from everywhere.
“The cup is getting bigger and bigger each year and the prize money is unbelievable.
“There were about 100 nominations last year for the meeting and it’ll be similar again this year.”
At the time of going to print there were 13 nominations for the Tumut Cup.