By Geoff Newling
Cash Spinner finished second in last year’s $65,000 Slipway Hotel Ballina Cup when drawing a wide barrier. On Thursday the Grafton-trained mare, prepared by John Shelton, aims to go one better from a much better gate in a race her trainer is yet to win.
Last year she drew barrier 14 and started from 13. On Thursday she jumps from barrier one. “She drew wide last year and was only beaten a half head,” John Shelton recalled. “She does have a lot more weight (58kg this year compared to last year’s 54kg) and she is only a pony but she’s going to be in a lot better position.”
He doesn’t believe an overly strong Cup and thinks the likes of Anne Bonny, who has won her last three on end including a last start Murwillumbah Cup, the Barry Lockwood-trained Cashed Up and John Sprague’s Gllitra might be the hardest to beat.
Cash Spinner is a six-year-old chestnut mare by Spinning World who has won nine of her 34 starts for $135,415 in prizemoney. She is yet to win at Ballina in two starts and will have Matthew Paget on board.
“He rode a treble at Kempsey the other day too,” John Shelton said. The Grafton trainer hasn’t won a Ballina Cup and said he hasn’t had a great deal of success there either but did train a double there at the latest Ballina meeting.
“The stable’s in form,” he laughed after arriving back from Moree with Sunday’s Moree Cup in tow following Belflyer’s success out west. That was a brilliant win from another smallish galloper who has hit a purple patch since arriving at Shelton’s 20-strong table.
“He’s found a new lease of life,” he said. “Just like his trainer, he’s not real big, little and tough.” What would also be nice would be for Shelton to strike a second double at Ballina in two race meetings as he also has prince Of The Turf in the $35,000 Aquis Farm Ballina Newmarket (1200m).