Casino product Chris Munce weighs in on Grafton Cup
CHAMPION jockey and former two-time Grafton Cup winner Chris Munce has said he likes the look of Tony Gollan-trained stayer Amexed in this year's listed $160,000 Grafton Cup (2350m).
New Zealand-bred Amexed, running hot off a win in the Caloundra Cup on the Sunshine Coast, got the better of yesterday's barrier draw at the Clarence River Jockey Club - securing the inside run from barrier one.
"It is a great time of the year, the carnival up here in Grafton," Munce said.
"It is a good time for the club here getting all the good horses from down south and all the local chances competing against each other. It gets the community back to the races.
"I haven't had the closest of looks at the field to be honest with you, but a horse from Brisbane, Amexed, he is racing really well, so you would have to give him some hope in the race."
Gollan's runner got a good look from the TAB on opening markets for the Grafton Cup opening at $7, just shorter than his Caloundra Cup foe Jumbo Prince (Michael Nolan) at $8.
The two top weights in the Grafton Cup, Chris Waller's British import Index Linked, which drew the handy three alley, and the Godolphin stable's Malice (8) have opened the markets as $4.60 favourites.
Foreign Prince, trained by Sydney up-and-comer David Payne out of Rosehill, who was a third-place-getter in the listed ATC Winter Cup over 2400m earlier this month, has suffered from a tough draw in barrier 15 but bookies still like his odds at $7
John Thompson-trained Jiayuguan (barrier 11), ridden by Glyn Schofield, started out at $15, just short of Terandao and Swift Lady, both at $17.
Noel Doyle stayer All Clear out of barrier four is an outside chance, opening the markets alongside South Grafton Cup runner Egyptian Ruler (barrier 12) at $21.
Four chances opened at the $35 mark with Grafton Cup Prelude winner Rednav, Brave Ali, Dream Folk and only local chance Light Motion. Journeyman Kingston Time, from barrier seven, rounds out the market at $71.
Munce said earlier this year he was looking at running successful colt Wicked Intent in the Ramornie Handicap, but timings did not work out with the progeny of Wicked Style out for a spell.
"I would have liked to come down this year to contest the Ramornie," he said.
"But I didn't have the right horse. Hopefully I can make it down next year, you never know.
"If I get the right horse I can travel down with and compete with, I would love nothing more than to race here."
Munce would have been hard-pressed this year up against champion sprinters Into The Red, trained by Kelso Wood, and Godolphin stable's Mogador.
Both sprinters fared well in yesterday's barrier draw, securing barrier three and five respectively to see them open the markets as clear favourites along with Mount Nebo at $5.