By Tony Megahey
Accomplished regional trainer Sue Grills has offered a convincing push for former Gold Coast galloper Attila amidst her numerous contenders throughout Sunday’s eight-race Moree Cup TAB meeting.
By I Am Invincible, the five-year-old gelding is aptly named after Attila the Hun, the feared barbarian who conquered most of ancient Europe. Attila the horse is capable of putting the sword to his opposition again after an impressive recent win at Scone.
Trainers have converged from far and wide for the booming annual Moree Cup meeting and the historic Cup, sponsored by Pacific National, offers an unprecedented $40,000 in prizemoney.
The Tamworth-based Grills has long been at the forefront of country trainers with notable city success, the latest with brilliant mare Fickle Folly, a Group placegetter and winner at Royal Randwick, Rosehill Gardens and Warwick Farm.
Her stable goes into Sunday’s big Cup day with the momentum of five new season winners after a productive 29 winners last season.
“We’ve got some nice chances and for sure, Attila is our best for the day,” Sue enthused. “I’ve only had him for a few runs, his owner bought him from the Gold Coast and I’ve got an opinion of him - he goes really well.
“This is his first prep for me, and he’s settled really well down here. Three runs from a spell and he was really strong winning at Scone and he did have 60kg. So he’s ready to take the next step.”
Attila sure is, powering from reward to win a Scone Benchmark 58 over 1200m by a widening margin for country champion Greg Ryan. It took Attila’s overall record to an admirable three wins and six placings from 14 starts.
On Sunday Attila contests the Muggleton Cranes sponsored BM 66 (1200m) with 58kg for Allan Chau. Gold Coast placings are a strong pointer for lesser country grade as Attila’s Scone win emphasised. And from an ideal barrier two draw, Sue anticipates Attila can race closer in the field.
Grills also fancies the chances of highly-consistent The Gun in the North Wests Evens Class 3 (950m): “He just tries so hard and is super-consistent but he tends to get back and he’s drawn wide but he’s race fit and I’m happy with him for a tougher grade.”
Mary Thinks, of course a So You Think mare, contests the Clive Dixon Memorial class One (1200m): “It's always tough going from a maiden to a class one, but she’s come back nicely from a spell and her win was strong at Gilgandra off a really wide draw. She can take the next step in tougher grade.”
Grills is hopeful, more than confident, about the chances of her Cup runner Moonlight Spy; a performed six race country winner.
“Look, it’s probably too short for him - he’s better at a ‘mile’ or further. But it’s not easy to find suitable races for his grade and an inside draw in a big field is a plus.”
Moree at present is rated a soft 5 track with fine weather predicted.