By Ray Hickson
Jockey Robbie Fradd isn’t letting the fact Igraine needs to set a weight carrying record to win Thursday’s Listed $160,000 G McMullan Contracting Grafton Cup (2350m) concern him – he’s confident he’s on the horse to beat.
Igraine, dominant last start winner of the Caloundra Cup over Grafton rival Sopressa on a heavy track, will equal the metric record held by Oppressor (1995) and Bonfire (2015) of 59kg and set a new mark for a mare if she takes out the feature event.
Only one mare has won the Grafton Cup this century, Queenstown in 2014, but Fradd certainly doesn’t seem to fear history.
“They were testing conditions in the Caloundra Cup, obviously the 54kg was in her favour and now she has 59kg which is a difference,’’ Fradd said.
“But we have fitness on our side which is a big help.
“I thought she was doing her best work late at the Sunshine Coast, going away from them, so I think I have those horses’ measure.
“Plus I have the good gate (four) so it won’t cost me anything to be where I want to be.’’
Some history in the Kiwi's favour is the last Caloundra Cup winner to take out the Grafton Cup happened just two years ago when Supply And Demand claimed the double.
Six-year-old Igraine, trained by Robert Priscott, is the $3.20 TAB favourite to rewrite the record books and Fradd said while she’d relish another heavy track with the extra 5kg a less testing soft track has him content.
“I’ll be watching some of the races (on Wednesday) to see which part of the track they are winning on,’’ he said.
“I have a good gate and a soft track is perfect for her.
“I’ve spoken to the guy who rides her work and he said she pulled up after the Caloundra Cup like she hadn’t had a race. So she is doing very well. She’s a tough mare and that’s important.’’
Meanwhile Fradd is keen to see how the recently gelded youngster Cinco Star returns from a spell in the NBN Springboard To Fame Plate (1200m).
The Matthew Dunn-trained two-year-old won on debut at Lismore in February with Fradd in the saddle and he’s also been on board in both recent trials.
Igraine win the Caloundra Cup on June 29
“I think he’s a nice horse, he’s a big boy and he’s had the two trials so he might just need it,’’ he said.
“But I think he is good enough. He’s had his break, filled out and grown and has been gelded.
“The stable companion is the horse to beat, Karaja. I’ve ridden her and she’s the filly to beat but my horse is no slouch.’’
Karaja was the $2.40 TAB favourite on Wednesday while Cinco Star is a $10 chance.