Marshall and Meredith dreaming of Willow Tree Cup success

Elissa Meredith will guide No Dreams All Hope around the Quirindi Jockey Club racecourse in tomorrow’s Willow Tree Cup for trainer Grant Marshall. Photo: Bradley Photographers.

When the gates crash back in the 2021 Willow Tree Cup at Quirindi Jockey Club on Saturday, No Dreams All Hope will go around as one of the main chances in the 1000m event. 

Grant Marshall prepares the six-year-old that has been backed in from a starting quote of $11 to $7.50 fourth favourite, with punters hoping the Newcastle galloper relishes the soft six conditions that saw him catch the eye when finishing third last time out at Taree.

“He loves the wet and that is the only reason we backed him up at Taree the other day and that is why we are racing at Quirindi,” Marshall said.

“He just got a bit too far back and wide at Taree, and the young girl (Mikayla Weir), who rode him, got off him and said he got caught too far back.

“If we found the inside, we would have been a lot closer, we definitely wouldn’t have been the winner, but we probably should have run second.”

The Redoute’s Choice gelding had drawn more favourably with gate three at Tamworth on Tuesday but was scratched in favour of tomorrow’s $12,000 feature race, despite drawing gate 13.

“I had him in at Tamworth, and he drew 3 out of 12 but it is a lot harder race,” Marshall said.

“I know he has drawn a bad barrier tomorrow, but he has some speed and hopefully we can sit in behind the early leaders and get one final go at them.

“She (Elissa Meredith) knows how to ride him, so we should be fine.”

Meredith has tasted success on No Dreams All Hope before when guiding him to victory at Tamworth in May of last year. 

“Yes, she has won on him and it was a good ride. He paid $113 a win that day and he was wearing saddlecloth 13 and he jumped from gate 13,” Marshall laughed. 

When asked what type of horse will win at Quirindi, Marshall said it always came down to needing a strong galloper.

“You’ve got to have a horse that can handle coming down that hill,” Marshall said.

“You’ve just got to have a tough horse anywhere these days.”

The Newcastle trainer believed he had two good winning chances at Quirindi, with Fightforyourright currently a $9.50 chance in the 1450m Class One Handicap. 

Luke Rolls takes the ride and after drawing gate five, Marshall was only worried about one other galloper ruining his day.

“She should be very hard to beat,” Marshall said.

“That horse of Jason Deamer’s (Loose Buttons) is the one to beat, but on her last run, she flew down the out the outside and ran third and I would expect her to be very close.”

The Quirindi Jockey Club’s annual Willow Tree Cup meeting is a good enough reason to venture across to Quirindi for a good six-race-program of entertaining Northwest country racing. 

“Country racing; that is where everyone started and we always like to win a race in town and that, but country racing is where we all started out and it’s nice to win those races if you can.”

For those thinking of attending tomorrow’s meeting, the first race jumps at 12.42pm and gates open at 11am, with fashions and entertainment also on course.