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Hull Sweating On Brother's Fitness For Maclean Cup

Trainer Ben Hull hopes his jockey brother Jake gets the all clear from the doctor at the weekend so that he can finally partner Red Letter Day when he lines up in Sunday's $30,000 Maclean Bowling Club Maclean Cup (1400m) at Grafton.

Jake Hull was one of three riders who fell in the fifth race at Wednesday's Ramornie Hcp meeting at Grafton, suffering mild concussion.

The Gold Coast-based Ben Hull is confident his brother should be able to ride Red Letter Day, a gelding the jockey has worked closely with on the training track but is yet to ride on race day.

"This is Jake's favourite horse, he's done a lot of work with him from the time I first got him," said the trainer. "Jake wasn't riding at the time and since he returned to race riding about six months ago the opportunity hasn't come about for him to partner him in any of his races.

"I spoke to him this morning (Friday) and he's feeling much better. He sees the doctor on Saturday morning and hopefully gets the all clear. I think he should be right to ride and it would be great if this horse could win for him at Grafton."

Red Letter Day heading out to the barriers at Scone. Credit: Bradley Photos.

Red Letter Day has been a pretty good performer for Ben Hull since he joined his stable in 2015 after beginning his racing career in Melbourne with Peter Moody. The Domesday gelding has won five races since coming north, including a Doomben win at big odds back in 2015.

"He's been a pretty good horse for us, winning five races so far and his Doomben win was my first Saturday city win as a trainer," said Hull.

Red Letter Day goes into Sunday's race at his third run this campaign. He resumed at Scone on May 11 in the $80,000 Country Cup over 1400m, finishing ninth of 16 behind After All That. Second-up he finished a good second to Kievann in an Open Hcp over 1200m at the Gold Coast on June 16.

"We took him to Scone first-up but he was found to have had a virus, so I freshened him up and then stepped him back to 1200m in a pretty hot field at the Coast," said Hull.

"Third up and back up to the 1400m in Sunday's race should be ideal and he's drawn a nice alley (gate five).

"He's a horse who needs the pace on, needs a dry track and needs some room. If he gets all that I think he'll be very hard to beat."

Hull rates the Matt Dunn-trained Zamex as the main threat in the race.

Gold Coast trainer Michael Costa said Gold Ambition was an unlikely runner in the Maclean Cup and would probably run instead at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.

It could be a case of deja vu when Cash Spinner and I'll Miss You both chase back-to-back wins in their respective races at the Grafton meeting.

The John Shelton-trained Cash Spinner attempts his second win in the Maclean Cup (1400m) while I'll Miss You, prepared by Julie Pratten at Ballina, lines up for a repeat win in the 3120m staying test of the Brown Accountancy Benchmark 65 Hcp.

Cash Spinner carried 58.5kg when he won last year's Maclean Cup, causing a boilover at $31. He goes into this year's race with much better lead-up form and carries 57kg this time around.

I'll Miss You easily won last year's 3120m race, a Benchmark 58 in 2017, by almost three lengths with 57kg. The mare carries 59kg topweight on Sunday but with distance doubts on most of her rivals she still looks the one to beat again.

Cash Spinner is very effective over the Grafton 1400m, winning three races and placed another three times from seven runs at the track and distance.

A second Maclean Cup win with Cash Spinner would be a good finish to the week for Shelton, who went close to winning Wednesday's Ramornie Hcp with outsider Belflyer, who loomed up to win but had to be content with second to Queensland galloper Havasay in the time-honoured sprint.

View the fields, form and race replays for Sunday's Grafton meeting here. 

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