Gunnedah galloper goes to outright first on the NSWPRA Picnic Champion Series ladder
The Gavin Groth-trained Danspur has gone to outright first on the NSW Picnic Racing Association (NSWPRA) Picnic Champion Series leader board following his win in Saturday’s Wean Picnic Cup.
Ridden by Ash Boyd in the $6,000 feature, Danspur was too good for his rivals, pulling away for a 4.12 lengths win.
Groth said he was always confident that his eight-year-old would win, with the Casino Prince gelding racing well this preparation.
“He’s absolutely flying, and we couldn’t have been more confident on the day,” Groth said.
“He has raced well this prep and we are thrilled with him.”
Danspur came into the Wean Cup following a good second to Fiocchi in the Talmoi Picnic Cup held at Moree on June 25, and before that, he had won the Mallawa Picnic Cup on June 11 and finished fourth in the Moree Picnic Cup on May 28.
“We did set him especially for the Golden Triangle series, and he won one of those races and ran second in the other and third or fourth in the other, but we couldn’t be happier with him,” Groth said.
Following his win at Wean, Danspur is now guaranteed a start in the $50,000 NSW Picnic Champion Series final at Coonamble on October 9, with the Gunnedah galloper now leading the series on 33 points.
Barring injury or illness, Groth said his veteran would run two to three more times before the final.
“It’s still three months away, and that win at Wean was only his fourth start this prep, and he will have a couple more races, and he is in next week in a TAB race at Moree over 1400m,” Groth said.
“He will probably have another start after that, then we will be giving him a freshen-up for a month and we will start getting him right for a run in September before the final on October 9.”
Groth did have Danspur ready for the 2021 Picnic Champion Series final, which was won by the Brett Robb-trained On A Promise, but after being drawn as a reserve, he didn’t get a start, but came out two weeks later to win a Showcase race at Coonabarabran.
“I did it last year with him and it worked,” Groth said.
“He was in for a very long period, but he had a four-to-five-week period at the stables where he didn’t do anything expect get fed, rugged, boxed and put out in the day yard.
“Still, he came out and won at Coonabarabran two weeks after the final, so we know it works.”
Danspur has won first-up before, but Groth said his galloper would need one good run leading into the final, especially as picnic horses carried more weight compared to horses racing at the professionals.
“He will definitely have one run going into the final, especially being over 1400m,” Groth said.
“He will get around 65kg in the final, and he has won first-up before, but I haven’t been able to get him to win first-up at the picnics, and I think that is because of the weight; it just takes him a run.”
When asked if he has the horse to beat in the final, Groth believes so, indicating he thought he was every chance in 2021.
“I do think he is the horse to beat this year,” Groth said.
“He would have gone close last year if we could have run him. I know On A Promise was a very good horse last year, and he would have been hard to beat, but I think we would have been pretty close and everything being fair, we should have our chance this year.”
With Wean now run and won, the final picnic meeting of the current season leading into the NSWPRA Picnic Champion Series final will be held at Cobar on August 20, meaning this will be the last chance that horses get to earn points ahead of the $50,000 Picnic Champion Series final at Coonamble on October 9.
For more on the Picnic Champion Series and the current leader board, click here.