Transferred Armidale Cup to suit Paul Grills-trained Scatman

Jodi Worley and the Paul Grills-trained Scatman will team again in Sunday’s Armidale Cup, which will be run and won at Tamworth Jockey Club. Photo: Bradley Photos.

Sunday’s Armidale Cup being moved to Tamworth isn’t a worry for Guyra trainer, Paul Grills and his galloper Scatman. 

Grills said the change of location and the drop in distance from 1900m to 1600m would benefit his five-year-old.

“No, it should suit,” Grills told NSW Country and Picnic Racing. 

“He has missed all of his work this week, so he should be spot on for it.

“We had 40ml (of rain) last week, and we had another 25 or 30ml yesterday, so it’s been pretty wet, but he will be right.”

The Fast ‘N’ Famous gelding was also nominated for a 1900m Benchmark 58 Handicap at Kempsey on Monday, and Grills joked that he would take on ‘plan c’ when heading to Tamworth.

“We’ve always wanted to put him over 1900m, but he has been going well over 1600m, so we never bothered. 

“The plan was, if we didn’t go to Armidale, or if it was called off, then Kempsey was my plan b. 

“Now plan c is to go to Tamworth instead and I think he should go okay.”

Scatman has drawn gate 7 in the $60,000 race, and Jodi Worley is booked for the ride.

The North West-based trainer said his ever-consistent gelding – that has won three times and placed on a further 11 occasions during his 28 starts – is good enough to replicate Grills’ 2014 Armidale Cup success when Dusty’s Felt won the feature race.

“He is on 50% runs to places and he is the only horse I’ve ever had with that record,” Grills said. 

“Dusty’s Felt won this race for me, and Melted Moments is a good horse for a mate of mine, and he (Scatman is just as good as those horses.”

As far as handling the likely soft/heavy conditions, Grills said it was still somewhat of an unknown for Scatman.

“I’m not really sure. The day he run second at Quirindi on a heavy; it was boggy alright,” Grills said. 

“I wouldn’t have said he is a real mudlark but if it is a heavy 10 on Sunday, I guess we will find out.”

In what has been terrible run of luck for the Armidale Jockey Club, this is the second time in 2021 their feature race meeting has been lost to wet weather, with the club originally meant to host their Armidale Cup Showcase meeting on February 28.

Because of the meeting being transferred to Tamworth, there have been some distance chances, which readers can read below.

For full Armidale Cup fields, readers can click here.

Race No.Race TypeDistancePrizemoneyAmended Distance
1MAIDEN PLATE1100m$30,5001000m
2MAIDEN HCP1400m$30,500
3CLASS 1 & MAIDEN SW1900m$30,5001600m
4BM 66 HCP1400m$30,500
5CLASS 2 HCP1300m$30,5001200m
6NEWMARKET HCP1100m$35,5001000m
7ARMIDALE CUP1900m$61,0001600m
8BM 58 HCP1100m$30,5001000m