By Geoff Newling
Tamworth trainer Craig Martin could have a trio of chances in Sunday’s $150,000 Mercure Tamworth Cup (1400m). As it stands Martin has two – Mapmaker and Bullet Kid – certain runners whilst Present Sense is fourth emergency but unlikely to get a run.
Present Sense has won five races and $97,930 since Martin bought the gelding as a present for his son, Liam. Martin used to train Mapmaker for a local syndicate, including former Tamworth MP Peter Draper, but transferred him to his brother Tim Martin, last year to race in metro company.
The six-year-old gelding son of Henrythenavigator has won six times in 30 starts for $186,475 and been ultra-consistent, also running 12 placings.
Craig and wife Sharon also have a 20% share in Mapmaker while Craig also trains Bullet Kid, the winner of six from 20 starts, for former Tamworth Jockey Club committeeman, Mick Paul.
Mapmaker has drawn barrier 4 with Adam Hyeronimus to ride while Bullet Kid has drawn 11 but will jump from barrier nine when the emergencies come out. He has won $110,660 in prizemoney for Mick Paul.
“He’s got 54kg on his back,” Craig Martin said. “Never carried that for me. He’s in with a very good chance,” he said of a gelding who will “get back and run on”.
Mapmaker, Martin said, is also in with a “great chance”. “He finished second in the Cup last year,” Craig recalled. “Still swear he won it.”
Tony Newing’s Timeless Prince launched a late charge to win the $100,000 Cup narrowly. Worth an extra $50,000 this year Mapmaker is cherry ripe to go one better.
“He ran a good race first-up and then trialled very well the other day,” Craig Martin said. “He’s weighted to win it and got a terrific barrier (4). He was fourth emergency last year and snuck into the Cup with 54kg and almost won it."
Since then he has placed five times at Randwick and Rosehill (in Saturday races) as well as winning a Benchmark 70 at Rosehill on September 27. After spelling 20 weeks he returned with a third to Dissolute in a Benchmark 83 on April 2 and ran second to Ahmad in a Randwick trial on April 16.
“He’s only gone up a kilo for running second in the Cup last year,” Craig Martin added. "The year before that he won a Class 3 on Cup day so he knows and likes the track.”