Qld gelding a threat to Lismore Cup contenders
LIKE the 16th century Spaniards plundering the Americas, the Queenslanders are coming to the Northern Rivers for our gold – tomorrow's $60,000 XXXX Gold Centenary Lismore Cup (2100m).
The Queensland 'conquistadors' have already captured the silverware from the Byron Bay Cup, the Newmarket and the Rousillon.
Now they want the big one.
Half the starters in the Lismore Cup will come from north of the border, with Eagle Farm trainer Brian Smith leading the charge with his five-year-old gelding Regal Gaze.
“We'll be coming,” he said.
“I've got to give him a trip somewhere before we turn him out.
“It's just a nice race to give the horse a trip.”
Smith denied there was a conspiracy to see all our major racing trophies in foreign cabinets.
“I didn't even give it a thought,” he said.
“It's a good prize money race.
“That's what gets people.”
But Smith admits it would be nice to add the Lismore Cup to his already impressive haul.
“I've won most other cups in the country but I haven't won Lismore,” he said.
“From Brisbane to Hong Kong to Canberra, anyone you want to name.”
The Melbourne Cup?
“No, I haven't won that,” he said.
But Smith can boast of training Balmerino who was named Australian three-year-old of the year in 1975/76.
Smith was one of seven Queensland-based trainers who yesterday accepted for the cup.
There was one acceptor from each of Grafton, Coffs Harbour and Tamworth, leaving four starters from local stables.
Ballina trainers Sue Birney and Danny Bowen have the equal top weights with Derivative Receipt and Cedar Manor respectively both carrying 57kg.
Casino's Michael Trihey has top Brisbane jockey Jason Taylor down to ride Olympic Time.
And Ballina trainer Janelle Shapter, jockey Emily Kehoe and mare Seven Deadly Sins round out the local hopes with an all-female combination.