Hunter aims for trio at Ballina Cup
By STEVE SPINKS
BALLINA trainer Jerome Hunter has planned a three-pronged attack for next month's Ballina Cup (1600m).
Hunter will aim Sansaba, Promulgate and Jedephrae at the postponed Ballina Cup that will now race on November 15 after getting the go-ahead from NSW Racing and the Department of Primary Industries.
The Cup was postponed from September 13 following the Equine influenza (EI) outbreak.
Sansaba will be Hunter's main hope. The seven-year-old mare has only been with the Ballina trainer for a few months but she has made quite an impression.
"She's only lightly raced," Hunter said. "She nearly broke the 1200m track record at Doomben. She ran the fastest last 600 metres."
Sansaba, along with Jedephrae are new additions to the Hunter stable following his success with Special Song in Brisbane earlier this year where he won the Tatts Cup and Easter Cup at Eagle Farm.
"I've picked up quite a few new clients from Queensland after I won three in a row in Brisbane," said Hunter.
Last weekend Special Song was named as runner-up in the Northern Rivers horse of the year title that was won by Coffs Harbour's Natural Destiny, which was a Cox Plate contender before the horse flu epidemic hit.
While Sansaba looks the pick of the crop for the Cup at the moment, Jedephrae looks a good staying prospect.
"He's only had 23 starts but has won at Eagle Farm over 2100m and Ipswich over 2100m," Hunter said.
"He's a class three horse but has been running in open handicap races."
The four-year-old is formerly a charge of Alan Bailey's. The limited preparation is not concerning Hunter in the lead-up to the Ballina Cup.
"They're (the horses) all jumping out of their skins to race," he said. "The preparation hasn't been ideal but they've been doing a lot of training and galloping.
"English horses come out here and run in the Melbourne Cup over 3200m after not racing for six to eight weeks."
Sansaba and Promulgate have both been listed to race at the Ballina closed meeting this Friday in the Open Handicap (1400m) which is looming as a Ballina Cup test race with Stephen Lee's Felixtrinidad and Danny Bowen's Special Voyage also nominated for that race.