By Tony Megahey
A gut-busting 62.5kg for nine-race winning veteran Upstart in Friday’s $37,000 XXXX Gold Inverell Cup (1400m) hasn’t fazed dual Moree Cup winner Peter Sinclair who has leading contenders throughout the nine-race TAB program.
Sinclair’s confidence in by far the highest rater is emphasised by his decision not to claim on the Moree Cup winner.
He has engaged leading regional rider Matthew McGuren for Upstart while Sinclair’s own rising apprentice Jacob Golden is an opponent claiming 3kg in the Cup on Silent Flyer.
Eight-year-old Upstart spectacularly won four in succession with big weights before a let-up in September with a slight pelvis injury.
“He’s over that, we didn’t claim - he’s definitely not a kid’s horse, he’s a cunning old horse, likely to jack up unless you’ve got a senior rider to stand over him,” Sinclair explained.
“But he’s used to carrying big weights, Matty has been on him before he’ll get the best out of him.
“My only concern is we missed a run when Ballina didn’t have enough noms so I left him up there for that run at Coffs Harbour.
“The run was alright, he’s never at his best first-up and needs racing. I would have been happier with another run going in but that’s the way it goes.”
Upstart won four in succession including the Moree Cup in September with 58kg and a Gunnedah Open sprint with 61kg. A positive is successive trial wins at Inverell and Moree before resuming at Coffs Harbour.
Meanwhile, a distinct threat and big watch, isn’t guaranteed a Cup start. Connections of airborne third emergency Call Me Brad are sweating on two more scratchings.
The veteran marvel has found a new lease of life for Tamworth’s Lesley Jeffriess winning a recent double at Gunnedah by a total of ten lengths with significant weights.
He’s up in grade but back on the limit weight for young apprentice Yvette Lewis who has been riding the veteran a treat and claims 1kg from an ideal inside draw.
Meanwhile, Sinclair has primed Liberty Head, a three-race winner and recent TAB Highway placegetter at Royal Randwick.
And three-race winner Beacon is ideally placed in the SOS Phone Repairs $24,000 Shorts (1050m) with the claim for Jacob Golden. At present Inverell is a soft five in overcast weather.