Trainer pins hopes on All Our Way
DEFENDING Ballina Cup champion All Our Way has been given the favourable weight of 53kg ahead of today’s acceptances for Thursday’s $50,000 race.
Twenty-six horses have nominated for The Point-sponsored 1600m race and Ballina trainer Kevin Nipperess is optimistic his eight-year-old veteran is ready to fire.
Sydney-based rider Neil Paine has been booked for the ride and the stars seem to be aligning for the 73-year-old trainer Nipperess to claim his fourth Ballina Cup.
“He (All Our Way) is just coming back from a spell and he’s a three-or four-run horse,” Nipperess said yesterday.
“Neil will definitely ride him; he’s been my stable rider for a while.”
Last year, All Our Way finished 10th behind Surety in the Ballina Cup prelude, the Byron Bay Cup.
This year, All Our Way finished sixth behind Surety in the same race.
“I joked with the owners of Surety the other day that we could pull off the same double we did last year,” Nipperess laughed.
All Our Way arrived in Nipperess’ stable from Hong Kong businessman Norman Cheng and raced for the first time on the Northern Rivers in May last year.
His form was solid in Grafton and Brisbane before last year’s Ballina Cup, but since winning in September he has failed to really impress, not placing in his last 11 starts.
“He had just gone as far as he could in Hong Kong; he had won something like $A400,000,” the Ballina-trainer said.
“He’s an older horse so we don’t race him as much. This is only my second preparation with him.”
Possibly aiding the specialist miler is the likelihood of the Ballina track being dead after 9mm of rain fell on it on Sunday night.
Nipperess also believes the class nominations of the field – Sydney-based Sophistication, and the two Brisbane horses trained by the respected Pat Duff – will not come.
“That’s just my opinion,” he said.
“If that’s the case, he (All Our Way) beat all the same horses last year.”
However, the in-form Surety and former winner Felixtrinidad, both trained by Ballina’s Stephen Lee, will be a threat.