From Kosciuszko to Kurrajong Cup for Island Bay Boy

Island Bay Boy will contest Saturday’s Kurrajong Cup at Murrumbidgee Turf Club. Photo: Bradley Photos.

This time last year, Queanbeyan galloper Island Bay Boy had raced eight times for four victories, and was gearing up for The Kosciuszko, with his trainer Tony Sergi and connections managing to lock down a spot in the country-only feature at Royal Randwick. 

While he finished a long last in the $1.3 million race, connections haven’t given up on the All Too Hard gelding and the possibility of him progressing to the next level.

The five-year-old returned from a let-up after his failed Kosciuszko campaign, winning an Open Handicap at Queanbeyan in March before running an eye-catching second at Warwick Farm two starts later in a 1600m Benchmark 72 Handicap. 

While it is around four hours away from the glitz and glam surrounding Royal Randwick’s The Kosciuszko and TAB Everest race day, Island Bay Boy will be in action at Wagga on Saturday when contesting the 1300m Benchmark 74 Kurrajong Cup. 

Sergi will have Island Bay Boy (Fiona Sandkuhl) going into the race second-up after a sixth placing behind Dream Runner at Canberra late last month, and he was predicting a much better showing at Wagga.

“He was in the worst going at Canberra the other day and he has never been a first-up horse and he always likes a run under his belt, but he has pulled up well and we are expecting a good run because the horse is going great,” Sergi said. 

“Now he’s had that run, he is primed for it and should go very close on the right track. He is licking his bin out, so I know he is feeling good.”

Wagga was rated a heavy 10 at the time of publishing, and Sergi conceded the wet conditions weren’t ideal for his runner and he was hoping for an upgrade.

“The wet track is just a worry. We are just waiting to see what the track comes up as tomorrow,” Sergi said. 

While the Kurrajong Cup is Sergi’s immediate focus, he believes Island Bay Boy will go on to bigger and better things. 

“He will go to town, and he is definitely a good county cup horse or better,” Sergi said. 

“I think we will end up going to town with him again, but we will just see how he goes and as long as he keeps going the way he is going, he will win some nice races for us.”

Island Bay Boy is currently the $7 third-favourite to win the Kurrajong Cup behind the Anthony Warren-trained Shaddy (Nick Souquet) at $4.60 and the Barbara Joseph, and Matt and Paul Jones-trained Manderboss (Quayde Krogh) at $5.50.   

While the Kurrajong Cup will take centre stage at Wagga on Saturday, it is set to be a big day of racing and entertainment at the Murrumbidgee Turf Club

Gates open at 12pm, and with kid’s entertainment, music and full TAB, bar and kiosk facilities, Murrumbidgee Turf Club Chief Executive Jason Ferrario said with a more positive weather forecast for the weekend after substantial rain it was all systems go for the seven-race program.

“The two lead in meetings for this with the Ag races and Wagga Picnics were very successful and traditionally the Kurrajong race day is one of the best outside of the cup carnival,” Ferrario said in the MTC’s race day preview. 

“It’s a very strong program of racing and for some people this meeting is one of the days they really look forward to the most.

“It also coincides with The Everest and The Kosciusko at Randwick and there is a lot of local interest there with Front Page, Mnementh, Another One and Handle The Truth all having raced in the Wagga Town Plate in May.”

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