‘Monster’ sized mare on track for Orange Cup

The Roy McCabe trained Renalot will contest Friday’s Orange Cup. Photo: Racing Photography.

According to Bathurst trainer, Roy McCabe, his mare Renalot is built to get over some ground and demonstrates all the characteristics needed to win Friday’s Orange Cup

“She is a big chance, but the only query is the 2100m, she is untested over it, but to my eye, she will run it – she is bred to run it,” McCabe said.

“She is very clean winded, and she is a monster, she is over 17 hands. She is the biggest mare I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been in racing since I was 14.

“Another thing is that she has a beautiful, even stride. She just puts her feet down nicely and gets through her work.”

The five-year-old has been fortunate enough to have the perfect lead-in races under her belt for Friday’s $75,000 feature event, winning the 1600m Orange Cup Prelude on March 21, before finishing third in the 1700m Wellington Cup on March 28. 

“She was unlucky at Wellington, but she is going well,” McCabe said. 

“It’s funny, we elected to run in the Prelude without the intention of running in the Orange Cup, then she came out and won and we thought we would step her up over the 1700m at Wellington and she ran well.” 

Funnily enough, the Camelot mare, who was previously trained by David Pfieffer, had never been tried past eight furlongs before reaching McCabe’s stable.

“The talk was that she wouldn’t run a mile, but she has been running well over a bit of ground, and really, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain by running her,” McCabe said.

Jay Ford will take the ride for connections, and McCabe said there would be no changes to her typical front-running style, especially after drawing gate six.

“She will roll forward, and be either first, second or third. That is her racing pattern, we will just leave it and won’t change it,” McCabe said.

A win in the Orange Cup would be a big victory for not only McCabe, but Renalot’s large ownership group, who had intended on selling her, before leasing the winner of five races to McCabe.

“She went through an Inglis sale, and I was watching her on that, and she was passed in, and I asked David if I could lease her for 12 months for the Country Championships,” McCabe said.

“Then they changed all the rules, and she was ineligible for that, but she has pushed on, and she has done well. 

“Our lease ends in a month, which will be a sad day, but there is talk they are already sending the horse back to me when the lease finishes.”

In a big day for the stable, McCabe also has promising four-year-old, The Drover, contesting the 1400m Class One Handicap.

“The Drover is probably the second-best horse in our stable, but he is his own worst enemy,” McCabe laughed.

“He tends to follow the outside fence, he can get scratched at the barriers, and he is just a big kid in the park, but once he learns how to put it all together, he is going to be a nice horse.”

The eight-race Orange Cup program jumps at 12.55pm, and the club will be looking forward to a big day of racing, fashions and on field entertainment.