The five-year-old is a winner of three races from 11 starts and has won in town and Freedman hopes to add some more silverware to the cabinet.
“There is nothing better than winning a country cup. I’ve asked my uncles and father about country cups, not so much in NSW, but in Victoria, and they will tell you whoever has won each cup each year and what horse it was – they just love it,” Freedman said.
“That is one of those things you don’t forget, there is some sort of romanticism about it. People just love to win country cups.”
Tamworth owners Robert and Pam Crosby were on board with the decision to contest the 2100m Open Handicap at Tuncurry, with the stable having previously considered heading to Tamworth on Monday.
“We had a collaborative discussion because I think she would have been terribly hard to beat at Tamworth in a Benchmark 66 over the same distance, and I said to the owners, ‘this is a harder race’, but we all agreed there is something more enjoyable about bringing back a trophy after a triumphant victory,” Freedman said.
The Shooting To Win mare will have to improve on her recent fourth over the 1600m at Scone if she is to figure at Tuncurry.
“I played with the blinkers to see if it would sharpen her up last start and I have taken them off again for this race,” Freedman said.
“I think she is looking for a trip. She is a hard one to read because we gave her a significant spell after she won a (TAB) Highway last prep, and she came back a bigger and stronger mare so it has taken a long time to get her fit.
“On paper, outside of her maiden win, she has only won at 1750m or further, so 1600m was a touch ambitious with blinkers.
“She is going to have to improve to win this race but there are some indicators at home that lead me to believe she is getting close to a win.”
Grant Buckley is set to take the ride and will have to contest with gate 10 in the 10-horse field.
“I will leave it to Grant to some degree. We won’t be sitting up on the speed from barrier 10,” Freedman said.
“We will probably give her an easier run, maybe end up in the second half of the field but with only 10 runners, it’s not too far away.”
While there are no crowds allowed, it shapes as a big day for the Tuncurry-Forster Jockey Club and their XXXX Gold Cup highlights a strong eight-race-program that received 120 acceptances.
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