Can Kevin conjure a cup?
CUPS king Kevin Nipperess has the uncanny knack of conjuring wins when you least expect them.
The Ballina trainer coaxed All Our Way to victory in the Ballina Cup on September 10 and he was one of the sentimental favourites for the Lismore Cup a fortnight later.
But the seven-year-old proved to be no match for the John Everson-trained Hecentadove in a Lismore Cup field full of quality horses.
Nipperess entered All Our Way in the Lennox Head Cup on October 18 only to see stablemate Chevron Island take the prizemoney.
But he's back, and Nipperess reckons the Evans Head Cup (1600m) tomorrow will suit All Our Way much better.
“The other horse that won it (Chevron Island) was much better suited to the 1400m and he was my main object in the race,” Nipperess said.
“That was a bit short for him (All Our Way) - he's more of a 1600m horse.”
Experienced hoop Neil Paine will be back in the saddle for the first time since riding All Our Way to victory in the Ballina Cup.
Nipperess has had Anthony Pattillo and George Auckram onboard for the past two outings.
“We were thinking of taking him up to Brisbane to race but the tracks have been too hard,” Nipperess said.
“But it's been raining here and by Saturday the track should be really suitable.”
In a strong field, Nipperess rates Samtheflirt as the horse to beat in the Evans Head Cup.
“He's been racing in Brisbane but all the horses in this race are dangers,” Nipperess said.
“There are no easy races in this class.”
The Ballina Jockey Club has received a healthy 140 nominations for the seven-race program and Nipperess believes it will be more popular because it is being held on a Saturday.
“It's going to be a really good race meeting because people love coming to the races on a Saturday,” he said.
“I talk to a lot of racing people - trainers, jockeys and owners - and a lot of them are not in favour of racing on Sundays. They like to have a rest on Sunday.”
Nipperess would especially like to win the Evans Head Cup tomorrow as some of the connections of All Our Way live in the town.