Peter Kirby believes he has the horse to beat in Saturday’s $8000 Bligh Picnic Cup.
The Canowindra trainer will travel to Mudgee with last-start Gulgong winner, Broo Boss contesting the 1850m feature race and he commented he would be ‘disappointed’ if he didn’t return home with the Bligh Picnic Cup.
“Of course I’m confident, otherwise I wouldn’t be going,” Kirby said.
“I’d be disappointed if we didn’t win.”
Kirby said recent Grenfell Cup and Cootamundra Cup winner Would Be King, who carries the top weight of 71kg, deserves to be favourite, but he believes the extra distance will suit his seven-year-old when push comes to shove.
“I think Would Be King is the horse to beat. The others I don’t really know,” Kirby said.
“My horse on his day will be good enough but it will come down to whether our horse turns up and wants to run – if he does, they won’t beat him.”
Broo Boss was a good winner over 1800m at Gulgong on Sunday, with apprentice Julia Presits giving the Street Boss gelding the perfect ride before eventually winning by 2.21 lengths.
Prior to that, the old stager was running over shorter distances, and Kirby explained it was by design as he attempted to increase Broo Boss’ benchmark.
“The thing is; he is an 1800m to 2000m horse these days but I couldn’t get him in the right races,” Kirby said.
“I needed to get him in those races to get him fit, and to get his benchmark up because he got down to a 44 benchmark and we weren’t getting runs and he kept missing out.
“He came out and ran some good races and we were eventually able to get him into a more suitable race (at Gulgong) and he was able to show his ability.”
Broo Boss has been a good earner for Kirby and connections, racing 28 times since March of 2021 and winning races at Mudgee, Wagga and now Gulgong, while taking his earnings for the stable close to $60,000 and his career earnings to almost $120,000.
It has been a good training effort by Kirby too, with the former trotting trainer and driver addressing a quarter-crack issue, and since then, Broo Boss has been enjoying his racing again.
“We spent the time and got him right,” Kirby said
“Since we fixed the quarter crack, he hasn’t been lame and he loves his racing.
“We don’t need to give him big spells either, and we freshen him by giving him three or four weeks off and that’s enough and it works for him.”
Broo Boss is currently 11th on the NSW Picnic Champion Series ladder with 14 points, and while he is likely to qualify for the $50,000 final, which will be held over the 1400m journey at Coonamble on October 9, Kirby said he wasn’t a certainty to run his galloper in the final if he did make the top 12.
“If I can find an 1800m race at Wagga or somewhere else compared to the (1400m) picnic final, I’ll be going to the 1800m race,” Kirby said.
“The picnic final is too short for him. How do I get him fresh enough to go over 1400m?”
For the time being, Kirby will focus on the Bligh Picnic Cup with Ricky Blewitt taking the ride in the feature race.
There is also the Collaroy Cup 1000m sprint on the six-race-program, and for full Bligh Amateur Picnic Race Club fields, readers can click here.