Colt Courting success
By ADAM HICKS firstname.lastname@example.org BALLINA-trained colt Court Award will start a $26 chance in the $1 million Magic Millions Trophy for three-year-olds (1400m) on the Gold Coast today. But his trainer Kevin Nipperess reckons he is well over the odds.
Leading jockey Neil Paine flew to Ballina specifically to ride the three-year-old in trackwork on Friday and gave a glowing report.
"Neil was very, very happy with him," Nipperess said. "He was as good as he was before he raced at Wyong."
At Wyong, in a three-year-old Magic Millions race earlier this month, Court Award started a $100 long-shot and got beaten by only a head on the line.
The horse that beat him, Cent Per Cent, is rated a $7.50 chance today behind favourite Absolut Glam ($3) and Tosstestaroan ($4.50).
But Nipperess insists that with $570,000 on the line for the winner, the odds are not important.
"You are still racing against pretty well the same horses from Wyong," he said.
"Cent Per Cent will be there but we feel we can beat him. He had a really hard race at Rosehill and we think he'll be worse for the run.
"He has also got a big trip up (from the Central Coast) and we are only an hour-and-a-quarter drive to Gold Coast.
"Court Award has done really well since coming back from Sydney and we are very happy with him - he's probably the better for those runs.
"Neil wanted to be here to gallop the horse his final gallop before the race and to get his idea of him.
"He is a very, very good judge.
"He knows that horse and when he rode him before Wyong he was confident he would race well."