Trainer Greg Stephens has a number of reasons he wants to train a winner at the Sapphire Coast on Monday.
Stephens will saddle up the in-form Going Purple who is chasing three consecutive wins in the Benchmark 66 (1608m) and also Monterey Magic in the Class 3 (1408m).
Both look capable of delivering on a special day for the family.
“Our youngest son Bradley turns 19 on Monday and he does a lot of work for us and will probably be the strapper of both horses,” Stephens said.
“It would be nice to get a double for him – hopefully we can cheer them both home.”
There are similarities between the duo as they are by Magic Albert and found themselves with the Stephens stable from previous trainers.
It’s fair to say they have found their best under his training which is based primarily on their farm not far from the Sapphire Coast race track where they complete fast work.
Going Purple scores at Goulburn on November 10
Stephens said it was an advantage to have them worked often at the Sapphire Coast even though Going Purple hasn’t raced there previously.
“He has won his past two and we have only had him for a bit over four months from Tasmania,” Stephens said.
“He has raced five times for us and is up in grade but down in the weights. I expect him to be hard to beat again.”
Monterey Magic was an acceptor for two races, but Stephens elected to take the first race option where he has drawn midfield in the six horse field.
“He drew near enough to the outside gate in the other race so that made up my mind,” he suggested.
“His best form is at the Sapphire Coast and also at 1400 metres.”
Monterey Magic has raced ten times at the Sapphire Coast for two wins and three placings and will be ridden by apprentice jockey Patrick Scorse.
Stephens has seven horses in training and races his runners on Monday with his wife, Nyree.
The trainer feels it is an advantage to be racing close to home.
“Monterey Magic always races well at the Sapphire Coast and even when he hasn’t bene placed there, he hasn’t been far away either,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Sapphire Coast Turf Club is gearing up for its two biggest days of racing with its carnival to be held on February 2 and 3.
The $50,000 Bega Cup is the feature race over the two days at the popular Sunday meeting.