There will be no shortage of numbers or winning chances for trainer Trevor Sutherland who will saddle up a near record 16 horses at Wagga on Monday.
No stranger to starting a large number of horses, Sutherland’s list is as strong as it is long as he nears another training premiership in the final month of the racing season.
“I have had 16 or around that mark before, but four in the 2500 metre race is a bit different for the stable because you don’t get the opportunity to run in the longer races too often,” he said.
His best chance is Jungle Book who is chasing four straight wins with apprentice jockey Georgina McDonnell aboard.
She has been in charge for Jungle Book’s past two wins over 2000 metres at Wagga with slightly less weight of 59 and 57.5 kilograms.
Jungle Book will have to carry a bit extra with 60.5 kilograms over a longer distance on a heavy rated surface.
“He is getting up in the weights and is vulnerable with 60.5 kilograms. He is fit and will run the 2500 metres right out, but it keeps getting harder for him,” he said.
Jungle Book wins at Wagga on June 21
Sutherland will also have Willy White Socks, Run Hoff Run and emergency King Of String, if he gains a start, contesting the long distance race.
Jungle Book is the pick of his quartet with all his recent wins at Wagga at a distance of between 1800 and 2000 metres.
Warwick Farm visitor Aperol Sprint has won her past two starts over 2000 metres at Bathurst following eight unplaced runs.
The extra distance should suit Aperol Sprint who is in uncommon territory as a three-year-old filly racing over 2500 metres.
Her trainer Matthew Smith has a solid strike-rate in the country and will also start Denman’s Light and Dizzy Miss Lizzy at Wagga.
Dizzy Miss Lizzy will start in the Benchmark 58 (1000m) where Sutherland will line-up 163 start veteran, Benno’s Boy.
The stable favourite has won two of his past three starts and will again be ridden by McDonnell.
“He is in really good form and gets in well with Georgina’s claim. I also have Let’s Get Animal in the same race and he always races well at Wagga,” he said.
Meanwhile, the decision to scratch Assault’n’bathory from Randwick on Saturday and take advantage of the inside draw at Wagga could pay dividends in the final race.
Assault’n’bathory hasn’t started for four weeks and is coming off a Last start second at the Sapphire Coast which followed a third on a heavy track at Canterbury.
Greenspan is expected to be scratched after racing at Randwick on Saturday allowing Iggy The Moocher to gain a start.
Sutherland will start Real Key with McDonnell aboard and veteran Gentleman Max in the race.
Real Key is in peak form, while Gentleman Max excels on heavy tracks and is coming off a recent win at Albury.
Sutherland expects Royal Fighter in the Maiden (1400m) to bounce back after finishing unplaced last week at Albury and rates him among his best chances.
The leading trainer has prepared four winners and a second at a Wagga meeting previously and is hopeful of converting multiple winning chances on Monday.
“We have been having a good run with a win or two at most recent meetings so I’m hoping what looks a good day on paper goes that way,” he said.