WODONGA trainer David O’Prey is sweating on a late scratching to enable his in-form galloper Providential to force his way into the final field for the $100,000 Country Cup (1600 metres) at Moonee Valley tomorrow night.
Providential is first emergency for what will be the biggest test of his career on the bumper night meeting which is highlighted by the $1 million group 1 Manikato Stakes.
The six-year-old gelding won consecutive races at Wodonga and Wangaratta before finishing an unlucky second at Moonee Valley at his most recent start.
O’Prey has his sights set on targeting the Wodonga Gold Cup in December and expects to learn a lot more about Providential’s prospects in his home-town feature if he can gain a start tomorrow night.
“I hope he can get a run but not too many trainers are going to scratch from a $100,000 race if they don’t have to,” O’Prey said.
“The top-weight (Constant Force) is an 89-rater and that’s a similar sort of class that will go round in a Wodonga Cup.
“But I’m itching for him to get a run after he clearly should have won last start.
“The kid (Jye McNeil) rode him well but the horse outside him (Leveraction) is a 630-kilogram horse and he couldn’t push out for a run until it was too late.
“So to finish second, beaten a head was a terrific effort.”
O’Prey has booked Darren Gauci to ride with apprentices ineligible to claim.
“Darren has won on him before and if he doesn’t get a run we will target a race at Moonee Valley the following Friday night and Jye will most probably ride him,” he said.
O’Prey will also saddle-up Vapourise at Albury on Saturday.
Vapourise resumed from a 40-week spell at Albury on Caulfield Guineas day with a slashing win.
“We thought he had some feet problems but X-rays didn’t really show much,” O’Prey said.
“So we gave him six months off in the hills in Tumbarumba.
“His feet actually grew two sizes while he was out which is a bit unusual.
“So he probably did have some sort of feet issue but has come back problem-free.”
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