By Mark Brassel
“I hope to be driving home on Friday with the gold cup sitting alongside to me!” This is confidence of Warwick Farm trainer David Pfieffer heading into Thursday’s $80,000 Carlton Draught Coffs Harbour Gold Cup (1600m), which forms part of a Racing NSW Country Showcase program.
Left: David Pfieffer - should be bringing home the Coffs Harbour Gold Cup! Image by Bradley Photographers
Pfieffer will be represented for the first time at Coffs Harbour by Pelethronius, a vastly-improved galloper who has strung together four successive wins this campaign.
“I think it is a maturity thing; we were hoping this campaign he would step up to city class but we’re astounded by what he has achieved,” Pfieffer explained.
“He has really gone to another level and the Coffs Harbour Cup looks the perfect race for him.”
Pelethronius scored a surprise Kembla Grange (1300m) first-up when at $17, but has since rattled off victories at Warwick Farm (1400m) and successive Royal Randwick wins over 1400m and 1500m.
“He has already won twice over 1600m so the distance won’t worry him in the Coffs cup; in fact, I believe he’ll get 2000m. He has attacked the line each time and raced through after passing the post, which I consider the sign of a good horse.”
Last start Pelethronius steamed home over the top of the talented Invincible Knight, giving him a start and a beating and in the process, leaving another 11 other runners in his wake – 10 of whom were already city winners.
Left: Pelethronius (Tye Angland) in action, winning at Royal Randwick. Image by Bradley Photographers
“The owners are heading up on Thursday and will stay on to play golf at Bonville on Friday. I will go up on Wednesday and attend the Cup Calcutta, then miss golf and drive home Friday with the cup sitting alongside to me!” Pfieffer declared. Top jockey Kerrin McEvoy has been entrusted with the ride on Pelethronius.
Pfieffer will also take up Refuge Bay who trialled nicely at Randwick last Monday: “She has plenty of ability and ran home strongly for second in her barrier trial: “She is a 1200m to 1600m horse and will run in the Class 3 Handicap (1200m) which should suit her fresh.”
Coffs Cup week kicks off on Tuesday with the traditional Brett Bellamy Charity Golf Day at Bonville International Golf Course.
“On Wednesday, we have the Carlton Draught Sportsman’s Lunch at the racecourse hosted by Shawn Cosgrove and Gary Kliese,” said Coffs Harbour Racing Club’s racing manager, Tim Saladine. “Guest speakers are Chris Munce and Max Whitby, with many local and visiting trainers agreeing to give a quick word on their entries.
“Then on Wednesday evening, we move to the Pier Hotel for one of the biggest Cup Calcuttas in the state and the pool is expected to top $100,000 with Shawn Cosgrove again hosting.”
Apprentice Andrew Adkins, who will take out the Sydney apprentices’ title this season, will have rides at the meeting as well as history-making Rachael Murray, who recently became the first female jockey to ride 100 winners in a season in NSW.
“The track is in great order and with fine weather predicted we should draw a very big crowd,” Mr Saladine added.