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18th of November 2018

Sport



Kosciuszko favourites will be nicely up to speed

CARE To Think and Victorem, the early favourites for the $1.3 million The Kosciuszko, will go first-up into the big race on Everest Day next month.

Matthew Dunn, trainer of Care To Think, and Jenny Graham, who prepares Victorem, are going to use barrier trials to have their top sprinters ready for the inaugural The Kosciuszko at Royal Randwick on October 13.

The Kosciuszko, which is restricted to country-trained gallopers only, will have a final field of 12 selected by winners of a special race promotion drawn on Friday.

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Each of the 12 winning ticket holders then have a slot in The Kosciuszko and can select a horse to race as their entry, subject to negotiating a prizemoney with the horse’s owners.

In recent weeks, many trainers and owners of top bush sprinters have taken to social media pushing the case for their horse to get a start.

Others like trainer Joe Cleary sponsored a race at Queanbeyan last Monday and called it the Coolring for Kosciuszko Handicap to promote his sprinter’s claims.

Trainer Brett Cavanough believes the best chance of giving The Monstar an opportunity to impress his claims for The Kosciuszko by taking on Everest contenders Redzel, English, Invincible Star and Brave Smash in the Group 2$200,000 The Shorts (1100m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

But Dunn is content to take his chances that Care To Think is the $3 favourite on TAB Fixed Odds for The Kosciuszko, will be snapped by up a lucky Kosciuszko slot-holder and is planning to go to the big race without a lead-up run.

“Care To Think had his first serious gallop on Tuesday and is in really good shape,’’ Dunn said. “He did have tie-back surgery after his Brisbane campaign but that is perfect now. He looks great, better than I’ve ever seen him, and we know he is a very talented horse.

“My plan is to give him a barrier trial on October 2 and then go first-up into the Kosciszko.

“There are other horses in my stable I’d like to get to the race including Snitz and Lifesaver but Care To Think’s form is at a different level to those horses.’’

Dunn has already secured champion jockey Hugh Bowman to ride Care To Think in The Kosciuszko.

Care To Think has won six races including the Magic Millions Cup from 15 starts and earned nearly $900,00 prizemoney. He was competitive at Group 1 level in the Doomben 10,000 and Kingsford-Smith Cup in Brisbane during the winter which is exceptional form for The Kosciuszko.

Victorem, the $6 second favourite for The Kosciuszko, is the winner of five of his seven starts, including the Country Championships Final at Randwick last autumn. He hasn’t raced since his close second to Sambro in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas at the Hawkesbury stand-alone meeting at the end of April.

Graham said Victorem and his talented stablemate Awesome Pluck will have a barrier trial at Taree on Sunday with the trainer hoping to get both sprinters into the big race

“I’m most likely to run Victorem first-up in The Kosciuszko if we can get a slot, he’s a horse that sprints well fresh so trialling is enough for him,’’ Graham said.

“With Awesome Pluck, I’ll see how he trials and watch his mannerisms but I’m thinking he might need a run to get him settled before The Kosciuszko.’’

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