By Mark Brassel
“It was cruel – he led all the way and was in front a stride before the post and a stride after the post,” declared trainer Robert Price, of his evergreen galloper Tradtri.
The 10-year-old should be attempting a third victory in Friday’s Bong Bong Cup (1560m) but was nosed out by the $2.20 favourite Alfred the Great from the powerful James Cummings stable last year.
Tradtri didn’t appear in 2015 but the previous year the veteran had run away with the Bong Bong Cup by more than two lengths.
Robert Price trains in partnership with son Luke and together they have a stable at Kembla Grange and a farm near Berry on the South Coast of NSW to prepare their expanding team.
“We’d be going for a third cup had the photo finish gone his way last year. In fact, I still thought he’d won; it was a matter of our bloke had his head up and the winner had his down and nailed him.”
Incredibly, at his very next start Tradtri went to the city (Canterbury Park) and led all the way.
The gelding has just resumed, having not raced for three months, and turned in an eye-catching run when resuming for third to the smart Ruthless Agent at Goulburn over an unsuitable 1300m when sent out at $81.
“It was an excellent run, his first since August and was only beaten a length and a half,” Price said. “Alicia Morris will be riding him on Friday and she will claim three kilos as she has not ridden a winner but does ride well.
“Alicia partners him in all his work and rode him in a quiet jump out at home a few days ago and the horse went great. She will have him rolling forward at Bong Bong and I’m sure they will take catching,” Price added.
Tradtri does his training at Berry which is “only 40 minutes over the hill from Bong Bong”. “He stays on the farm at Berry and is happy there. He doesn’t need to go to Kembla Grange.
“We have mostly young ones at Kembla but we’re full at the moment and could do with a few more boxes.”
Should James Cummings decide to enter a horse for the Bong Bong Cup, he will be chasing a hat-trick having won in 2015 with Colour of Money (ridden by Ricky Blewitt) and last year with Alfred the Great (Alan Barton).
Bong Bong Picnic Race Club was formed in 1886 with the first Bong Bong Cup held in the grounds of Throsby Park.
For a number of years now the meeting has been conducted on the property ‘Wyeera’, an aboriginal word meaning ‘turning of the soil’.