Southern Gamble ready for Funny Hill Cup repeat

Can popular picnic performer Southern Gamble go back-to-back in the Funny Hill Picnic Cup at Crookwell on Saturday. Photo: Bradley Photos.

Perennial picnic cup performer Southern Gamble will be shooting for back-to-back Funny Hill Picnic Cups at Binda Picnic Races on Saturday. 
The eight-year-old, who is prepared by Doug Gorrel Racing, had Maddy Wright on board last year and the pair proved way too strong, winning by 4.9 lengths in the $10,000 feature event. 
Gorrel and Wright will team up again this year on the Casino Prince gelding, after drawing gate two in the 2020 edition of the race. 
Gorrel believes his old stager is a big chance of another Funny Hill Picnic Cup, given his 2019 performance and his recent form. 
“He is drawn well, one outside of what we asked for, so he will be right in it,” Gorrel said. 
“He won this race really well last year and I guess you could say it kicked off a good run of form for the old boy and if he runs up to his last run at Yass (Yass Picnic Race Club Inc.), he will be there at the end.”
There is some sentiment around Saturday’s race with Gorrel and connections hoping to give the 104-start veteran a winning send off. 
“We want to send him out on a win and we thought it would be good to get Maddy (Wright) back on board, especially after all the success she had on him last year,” Gorrel said. 
The Canberra trainer wasn’t taking the win for granted though, suggesting the small field had a lot of depth.
“It’s a good race and three or four of them have their chances,” Gorrel said. 
“Miss Farloo will be hard to beat and Waldo Waldorf flogged us at Condobolin (Condobolin Picnic Race Club), so both have to be respected.”
Wright, who rode Southern Gamble to three picnic cups last year, jumps back on board for the ride after missing his last five picnic races. 
The leading picnic jockey was confident of her ride’s chances but admitted it was a strong Funny Hill Picnic Cup field. 
“If the old boy runs as good for me tomorrow as he did for Ricky (Blewitt) at Young (Burrangong Picnic Race Club Young), I think he’s in with a chance,” Wright said.  
“We definitely can’t underestimate this year’s field, It’s small but there’s a few handy form horses that could run a cheeky race. 
Still, Wright was keeping positive, especially after their emphatic 2019 victory. 
“I know Kenny can handle the track, so I think that will be an advantage (and) we have drawn a good barrier and the rest is up to him.”
For those punters and racing fans heading out to Crookwell for the Binda Picnic Races meeting, the first race kicks off at 12.30pm and the feature event will be run at 4.45pm.