HALL of Fame trainer David Hayes is plotting a raid on Sunday week’s Wodonga Gold Cup with his group class mare Manila Jewel.
Hayes is chasing a slice of history by aiming to emulate Wodonga’s Brian Cox who was the last trainer to capture the Albury-Wodonga cups double in the same year in 2000.
Cox remarkably achieved the feat in successive years with Lucky Enough (Albury Cup) and Ekalaka (Wodonga Cup) in 1999 and again the following year with Ekalaka (Albury Cup) and Black Be It (Wodonga Cup).
Extra Zero handed Hayes, pictured, his second Albury Cup victory in three years in March when he scored an all-the-way victory with champion jockey Nash Rawiller aboard.
Hayes, who will be a VIP guest of the race club at the meeting, said Manila Jewel would be among the nominations for the $80,000 feature which close on Tuesday.
“I won’t make a final decision on accepting until early next week,” Hayes said.
“I’m looking forward to attending the meeting. “I’ve been to the races a few times there previously but never on Cup day.”
Manila Jewel had her most recent start on Emirates Stakes day during the Flemington carnival where she tackled group company for the second time in her 47-start career.
The seven-year-old mare was beaten by less than three lengths in the $300,000 group 2 Matriach Stakes (2000m) won by the Mark Kavanagh-trained Midnight Martini.
“It was a terrific run last start in group 2 company,” he said
“I’m just freshening her up after running over the 2000 metres.
“So if I think she is fresh enough to race over 1600 metres she will go round.”
Hayes said stablemate Seeyasoon could also be a possible starter in Wodonga’s premier race.
“Seeyasoon just got beat last start at Echuca and we might head there with him,” he said.
“But the query is he is a bit of a swooper and I’m not sure he will be suited that well at Wodonga which favours frontrunners.
“It’s a horses for courses track and I only like to have runners that can race on the pace.”
Hayes said stable jockey Chad Schofield would also be likely to ride at the meeting with the stable also set to target the supporting races.