‘Third time lucky’ as Rodger Waters chases another Tumbarumba Cup

Jack Waters (right) with the Rodger Waters-trained Sizzleonthebridge that will contest Saturday’s Tumbarumba Cup. Photo: Racing Photography.

Rodger Waters has been planning a Tumbarumba Cup assault with talented galloper Sizzleonthebridge for three years, but he’s yet to run him in the popular Southern Districts feature race.  

The Sizzling gelding was entered in the seven-furlong event in both 2021 and 2022, only for those meetings to be washed out, and Waters hopes his runner gets his long-awaited chance on Saturday.

“We’ve been in the race the last two years, so I guess you could say it’s third time lucky,” Waters laughed. 

The seven-year-old has been a good pick-up for connections, collecting the 2021 Towong Cup and 2022 Tocumwal Cup on his way to winning nine races and earning just over $150,000 in prizemoney. 

Since returning from a 28-week spell late last year, Sizzleonthebridge has failed to fire in three starts at Wagga, and Waters conceded he was heading to Tumbarumba with less-than-ideal form next to his name. 

“He doesn’t appear to be going as well to be quite honest,” Waters said. 

“There was a glimmer of hope with his last run, although he did finish down the track, but there was significant improvement. 

“He hasn’t come to hand as quickly as we would have liked but we will see how he goes at Tumbarumba.”

Racing in the Tumbarumba Cup will mean a drop in class for the Wantabadgery galloper, who ran into the Donna Scott-trained La Sante in the 1400m Benchmark 74 at Wagga on January 17, but Waters was wary of taking any race for granted, in particular the Tumbarumba Cup.

“There’s definitely no La Sante in the race,” Waters laughed, 

“Still, it’s a genuine country cup field, and a lot of handy horses are in it. 

“(Gary) Colvin’s (Carnival Miss) goes well, and Darky’s (David Blundell) horse (Thistledo) goes well and I only had a quick glimpse, but it’s going to be a good race.”

Waters, who is born and bred near Tumbarumba, has enjoyed a lot of success in his ‘hometown cup’, having won the feature race on four previous occasions. 

The Wantabadgery trainer won back-to-back Tumbarumba Cups at the turn of the century, with Big Agent winning in 2000 (Bryan Murphy) and again in 2001 (Nathan Patchett).

Bryan Murphy delivered Waters a third cup success in 2016 when winning aboard Exchancellor, while Pastiche (Belinda Wright) made it four wins in 2019. 

“I’ve not gone too bad actually, and I’ve won a couple,” Waters said. 

“I’ve had a bit of fun but I’ve fired a lot of shots too. It’s a hard race to win, but everyone likes to win their local cup and we’ll keep trying.”

Michael Heagney will take the ride, and Waters is praying for a good draw. 

“The closer to the fence the better,” Waters laughed. 

“We’d like an inside draw as it can be hard to win from out wide.”

The Tumbarumba Cup headlines a bumper six-race not-TAB program on Saturday, and trainers have supported the meeting, with 69 gallopers entered. 

The $18,000 Tumbarumba Cup, which will be run and won over the 1400m journey, received 14 entries, the most of any on the program. 

Mont Waters has entered local hope Namarari, and he will be up against his brother Rodger, who will race Sizzleonthebridge.  

Locally-owned gallopers Carnival Miss (Gary Colvin) and Would Be King (Doug Gorrel) have been entered too, and depending on final acceptances, the race is shaping to be one of the best Tumbarumba Cup fields in years. 

In other events on the program, there were 12 nominations in the 1200m Benchmark 50, 11 in the 1020m Benchmark 45, 10 in the 1400m Class Two, 13 in the 1200m Class One, and 9 in the 1200m Maiden Plate.

Tumbarumba Cup nominations 

Battle Talent (Craig Weeding)

Carnival Miss (Gary Colvin)

Choice Harvest (Craig Weeding)

Controversial Miss (Craig Weeding)

Crimosa (Andrew Dale)

Gwennybegg (Georgie Boucher)

Lunar Landing (Robert Linnell)

Namarari (Mont Waters)

Saint Henry (Rob Wellington)

Sizzleonthebridge (Rodger Waters)

Smokin’ Soldier (Andrew Dale)

Thistledo (David Blundell)

Tough James (Garry Worsnop)

Would Be King (Doug Gorrel)