According to Tumut trainer Kerry Weir, a strong win at Tumut’s Boxing Day meeting on Monday has ‘topped off’ Crocodile Cod ahead of Sunday’s Adelong Cup.
“He’s pulled up terrific,” Weir said.
“He’s as good as gold; he is one of those tough old buggers and that run should have him primed for a big effort at Gundagai.”
The six-year-old was racing over what was initially perceived to be the unsuitable distance of six furlongs, and Weir conceded that the win somewhat surprised him, with Tumut product Aaron Bullock giving the Cluster gelding the perfect ride just off the pace.
“I thought it was too short. I had him in at Wagga on Friday in a 2000m race, and Michelle (Weir) even asked me if we should be racing him there instead, but I said if we go to Wagga, we can’t go to Gundagai because it would have been too hard to drop him back from 2000m to 1400m,” Weir said.
“It was the right decision. All Aaron said to me after the run was that he had them covered at the 600m.
“He was in fourth, travelling in the perfect spot, and we had freshened him up for the race, plus it was the closest he had raced to the speed in that type of race, so it was a good ride.”
Weir said it was always the plan to use Tumut’s Boxing Day meeting as a platform to spring into the Adelong Cup, which Crocodile Cod won earlier this year when defeating local hope, Thistledo.
“The idea was to go to Tumut and hopefully run a nice second or third running home strongly and then go to Gundagai half confident,” Weir said.
“Without seeing the final fields, after that win you’d think he will be hard to beat.
“He beat that good horse (Thistledo) of Darky’s (David Blundell) last year, and he goes well in those open and (Benchmark) 66 races, and I think he will be the horse to beat.”
Kayla Nisbet has been called upon to ride Crocodile Cod in the 1400m feature event, and the Canberra hoop will also jump aboard Charming Pat in the 1000m Benchmark 50 Handicap, She’s A Hot Cod in the 1000m Maiden Plate, and Red Hill in the 1400m Maiden Plate.
“We will take four for the day and Kayla Nisbet called up this morning (Tuesday) chasing Crocodile Cod’s ride, and she wasn’t booked for anything else, and I said she could ride all of them,” Weir said.
“It worked out well as she goes good on our horses, and I think we should be in for a good day as they all should go pretty close if they can draw a gate.”
While the Adelong Cup and Sunday’s New Year’s Day meeting at Gundagai is Weir’s primary focus, he was already thinking ahead to Tumut’s feature-race meeting in February, and he is hoping Crocodile Cod can help break his stable’s Tumut Cup drought.
“I think he is our Tumut Cup horse next year, and he will be the best chance we have had for a long while,” Weir said.
“He will probably have this run, and I don’t think he will have another run before the Tumut Cup.
“We will look to freshen him up, and he is a tough horse, and it would be nice to win the hometown cup with him.”
It’s set to be a big day on Sunday, with Gundagai-Adelong Race Club bringing in the new year with their five-race non-TAB program.
The $15,000 Adelong Services and Citizens and Bowling Club Adelong Cup is the feature, while there is the Bob Vaughn Memorial 1000m Benchmark 50 Handicap, the Bendigo Bank Adelong 1180m Class One Handicap, the Adelong Service Centre 1000m Maiden Plate, and Adelong Engineering and Constructions 1400m Maiden Handicap.
Gates open at 11.30 on New Year’s Day and for fields click here.
Race 1: 1-3-5
Race 2: 4-7-5
Race 3: 6-3-8
Race 4: 6-5-2
Race 5: 4-7-6
Best Bet: Bethpage
Best Value: Turunaquid