He has been once and done it before and trainer Tony McEvoy can see no reason why Kourkam can’t add his name to the honour roll of dual winners of the Albury Gold Cup on Friday.
Kourkam, who will be ridden by Luke Currie from barrier nine over the 2000 metres, is racing as well as when he won the Cup two years ago, according to his trainer.
The galloper is rated a $16 chance behind Goldstream and Cool Chap in a race where the top chances are dominated by Victorian trained gallopers.
“I think he is going just as well as two years ago. I tried to get him to run a mile and a half (2400 metres) but he failed to run out the trip,” McEvoy said.
“I freshened him up and put him in the Wangaratta Cup where he ran a solid race but felt the harder ground.
“They have had a lot of rain at Albury and the track will be heavy and my horse is a winner in that type of going.”
The Flemington based trainer said having raced and won at the track in 2015, Kourkam is well suited to again run well.
“He has shown a liking for the track which is an advantage. The prize money is good – the horse is bright and well and I expect a big run,” he added.
One of Sydney’s leading jockeys Brenton Avdulla will be striving to break through in the $180,000 race after finishing second behind Kourkam two years ago. Avdulla has really made his mark in Sydney in recent seasons and will ride for last year’s cup winning trainer Lee Freedman on Cool Chap.
Cool Chap finished second in the Canberra Cup last start and is rated amongst the main chances.
Last year’s Cup was run on a heavy ten track and if there is no further rain Friday’s feature could be run on a heavy 8.
“I would prefer a slow track, but if it’s heavy then I know Kourkam can get through it,” McEvoy said.
The trainer will also saddle up Fox Hall in the Guineas with local jockey Nick Souquet out to notch another feature race win. Souquet was in the saddle aboard the winner Lautaro in Sunday’s Country Championship qualifier and has picked up the ride on one of the fancied runners.
McEvoy has a lot of time for Fox Hall who won first-up before finishing fifth last time out.
“He has a liking for the soft going and is a pretty good horse,” he said. “He ran second behind a smart horse that went to town and won after that. He stepped up to a mile second up the other day and will be better for Friday.”