Trainer David O’Prey is plotting a path targeting glory in the $80,000 Wodonga Gold Cup (1590m) for Providential after he scored a gutsy win at Wangaratta yesterday.
The Wodonga trainer has always held a healthy opinion of the six-year-old gelding who has the handy record of seven wins and 16 minor placings and almost $120,000 in career earnings.
O’Prey is a previous winner of his home-town cup with Elizabethan.
Yesterday’s victory was Providential’s first over the Wodonga Cup distance of a mile.
“I wouldn’t mind a stable full of horses like him, that’s for sure,” O’Prey said.
“It was a good tough win. He was there to be beaten over the concluding stages but he kept sticking his head out and showed plenty of fight.
“It was his first run over a mile and the Wodonga Cup will be his main target this preparation.
“He ticked that box that he can run a mile and will obviously be a lot fitter by the time the race comes around.”
The Wodonga feature is on December 1 and was won last year by the Michael Moroney-trained Zabisco.
Providential was allotted top-weight of 60 kilograms with O’Prey electing to use apprentice Jye McNeil who claimed 1½ kilograms.
McNeil claimed the riding honours at the meeting with a double after he also won aboard the Trevor Miles-trained Mon Coeur.
Providential was scratched from Ballarat on Sunday after the track was rated a heavy 10.
“He didn’t need to be going around a bog track so far away from home,” he said.
“Having Jye on the horse and being able to claim certainly helps when you only win by a short head.”
O’Prey said he would target a Moonee Valley night race on October 4.
Providential has had one start on a city track where he was unplaced on a heavy track.