By Mark Brassel
The appearance of a ‘five-legged horse’ will be one of the highlights at next Sunday’s Cootamundra Cup race meeting.
The adage that various horses ‘grow a leg in the wet’ certainly applies to Gentleman Max.
‘Max’ has raced on dry tracks 62 times and is yet to record a win, however, it’s a different story on wet surfaces.
The eight-year-old has won on 16 occasions with 19 minor placings on either soft or heavy tracks.
Last month Gentleman Max was transferred to Canberra trainer Keith Dryden and he will be having only his third start for the stable at Cootamundra.
Both runs have been excellent having finished third to Baanone at Canterbury Park when a $26 shot, and a last start sixth to Kirwan’s Lane at that course last Wednesday when at $81.
“He has gone super in two runs for me,” Dryden said. “Jay [Ford] jumped off him the other day at Canterbury and was rapt with his effort.
“I’ve lightened off his training and he’s a very happy horse. He only does some three-quarter pace and then sprints up for 400m.
“You’d have to think on his last two starts he’d be a nice chance in the Cootamundra Cup.”
This will be Gentleman Max’s fourth crack at the $27,000 Cootamundra Cup (1600m), having run last in the 2017 edition, seventh in 2018 and fourth last year – all on dry tracks.
And with possible shows forecast later in the week, Gentleman Max could well grow that ‘extra leg’ next Sunday.
The gelding has been a great money-spinner for connections with his record standing at 125 starts for 16 wins and 41 placings for nearly $340,000 in prizemoney.
“The Club has recently installed all new plastic running rail, thanks to Racing NSW, so we are looking forward to our first meeting with it in place,” said Cootamundra Turf Club committeeman, Brad Shields.
“We’ve had good rain here all year and plenty of sunshine in recent weeks, so the track is green, has terrific grass cover and is in top condition.
“Regrettably, due to COVID safety measures, no public access to the course is permitted, however, we are still expecting a quality race meeting and looking forward to planning a big Cup meeting in 2021.
“Any owners wishing to attend the Cootamundra Cup race meeting are required to pre-register their attendance by contacting Cootamundra Turf Club via firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Upcoming NSW country race meetings
Monday: Tamworth, Leeton
Friday: Dubbo, Moruya
Saturday: Wagga, Mudgee (non-TAB)
Sunday: Ballina, Cootamundra