Emergency runner shaping as Tamworth Cup dark horse

The Bob Milligan trained, Charmmebaby, has gained a run as an emergency in the 2021 Tamworth Cup. Photo: Racing and Sports.

When the fields first came out for tomorrow’s Tamworth Jockey Club Cup, Bob Milligan and his son Glen, weren’t assured that Charmmebaby would contest the $200,000 feature race, after being drawn as the first emergency, and allotted the visitors gate, with barrier 17. 

The stable had some luck though, with the Warren Gavenlock trained Plonka scratched, and the Milligan’s are now setting their sights on the 1400m feature event with their talented four-year-old. 

“We’ll definitely go there, and it doesn’t matter where she draws, she just needs speed on and she will go close,” Glen Milligan said. 

The Charm Spirit mare has an interesting form line leading into the Tamworth Cup, most recently flashing home late to finish third to Art Cadeau in the Country Championship final at Royal Randwick on April 10, and Milligan said she would likely run in the same fashion, with Ash Morgan set to take the ride.

“We were over the moon with her run, they tell me she ran the quickest finishing sectionals in the race,” Glen said.

“We know she is probably looking for the 1600m, but this is a $200,000 race and she is every chance if the speed is on.

“I was talking to Ash Morgan at Newcastle today and he said he would do the speed map tonight and he said he would go back on her.”

The $14 chance will step up in distance later on this preparation, but for the moment, the seven-furlong trip is all that matters when the gates crash back at Tamworth on Friday.

“I think she will run a bottler. She is hard to get a guide on based on her work, but all she has to do, is do what she did in Sydney and if we get a bit of speed on, she will be fighting the finish out,” Glen said.

“I want to go to a mile after this race, it just depends on what happens tomorrow. There is the listed quality at Gosford, and if we win there, there are some options, but we have to get through tomorrow first.”

Although racing in Bob Milligan’s name, his son Glen Milligan is doing all of the work, after Bob’s life was turned upside down three years ago after a horror stable accident.

Since then, Racing NSW has let Bob keep a training licence with conditions attached. It means his son Glen, a fourth-generation trainer himself, takes care of day-to-day duties.

“I’m running the show, I have been since he got hurt, I have my own licence, but the old man reckons he is not renewing his licence this year,” Glen said.

“He still loves it. He gets over sometimes and watches them go around.”

It has been a busy period for Glen and the team, and a win in the Tamworth Cup would be a terrific moment for the entire family.

“We’ve got 16 in work, five yearlings to break in and another eight or nine in the paddock, so anywhere from 25-30 between us,” Glen said.

“Charmmebaby is the best of them, but dad had two winners and I had a winner at Port (Macquarie) on Friday, and we have a few nice horses going but it would be nice to win tomorrow.” 

The Tamworth Cup, which jumps at 4.20pm, headlines a terrific eight-race-program for the Tamworth Jockey Club, that offers over a half a million dollars in prizemoney.