Warren Gavenlock knows Plonka is good enough to be in the finish of the Kosciuszko but he knows it will take a minor miracle to gain one of the last two slots on offer.
His star horse ran third at Canterbury on Wednesday behind the runaway winner Big Parade but he was still proud of his horse and knows he’s got a big race win in him.
“It’s looking unlikely that we’ll get a slot but considering some of the horses picked you’d think Plonka would have got one,” he said.
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“He was carrying 60kg on a track that didn’t suit him on Wednesday but I thought he got to the line well against a horse that’s probably a Group horse in the making.
“There’s a race on Kosciuszko day that might suit him and the owners are keen to have another crack at the Country Championships next year and I can understand that.
“The only issue is that the horse is ready to win now so I’d hate to put him in the paddock knowing he could win a Saturday race in town.”
On Thursday at Tuncurry Gavenlock’s frustrations can be eased if Ambitious Prince takes out the Tuncurry-Forster Gold Cup (2100m).
The six-year-old has been set for this race and comes into it off a confidence-boosting win at Grafton in a 2220m Class 3 event.
Gavenlock with jockey Rachel Murray after Plonka’s Country Championships qualifying win in February.Source:News Regional Media
He’ll be ridden once again by Belinda Hodder from barrier 13 and that’s the only thing Gavenlock fears.
“It’s a bit of a sticky gate but Belinda rides him well. The barrier is my only negative,” Gavenlock said.
“She’ll dig him out and get him across and she should be running third or fourth or might even get to the lead if they slacken off a bit down the back.
“The horse gave me a lot of confidence after his last run and this isn’t the strongest country cup.”
He has to step up in grade to win but he does drop 6kg in weight which is a big relief for a horse over this trip especially when trying to defeat the likes of Invictus Prince, The Getaway and Kacper Boy.
“He drops hugely in weight and this is the path we followed with him last year when he ran fourth in this race,” Gavenlock said.
“He’s a lot stronger this time and we’re probably a bit wiser.”
The Racing League’s inaugural season will see Billy Slater’s Queensland Rogues taking on Laurie Daley’s New South Wales Tycoons, Shane Crawford’s Vic Husslers and Brittany Taylor’s Black Hearts from Western Australia.
Gavenlock also runs Sweet Fu today in a Class 1 & Maiden Plate (2100m).
She too is a middle distance type who is finally starting to please her trainer and connections.
The four-year-old is yet to win or place in nine career runs which doesn’t look great but she’s coming off her career-best run last start.
On that day she ran 3 ½ lengths sixth at Grafton over 1710m when giving every indication that today’s extra ground wouldn’t be ideal.
“She ran out of her skin,” Gavenlock said.
“She’s always showed us some sort of ability but the penny hadn’t dropped until last week.
“She’s taken a long time to mature mentally and physically and hopefully we’ve got her right now.”
Originally published asGavenlock chasing consolation in Tuncurry Cup
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