SURFCOAST Racer will look to go back to back in today’s Dederang Cup.
And while the gelding is now rising eight, his trainer Malcolm Jarvis couldn’t be happier with his horse.
“We have followed a very similar preparation to last year and I think he may be a little fitter,” he said.
“But it’s a very good race and it’s likely to be a full field and some pretty handy horses.”
Surfcoast Racer, who once ran second at Moonee Valley under Brian Cox’s guidance, took out the $3500 picnic feature as a $9 chance last year.
Last Saturday, he franked his trainer’s assessment with a good Towong win.
“We had to keep him fresh for Towong because it was a 1400 metre race and that worked perfectly,” Jarvis said.
“So while he is stepping up to a mile for the first time, I think he might be a little bit more forward than he was at the same time last year.
“You need a tough horse to run the 1600 metres at Dederang.
“It is all uphill from the corner and that last 50 metres really finds out horses who can’t run the trip.”
Jarvis believes his home-style training on his property near Towong is the perfect preparation for Dederang.
“I ride him in all his work so he is used to carrying a bit of weight,” he said.
“And there are a few hills here that we use around the place that seem to help with Dederang.
“When we brought him back into work this time, we decided to have a second crack at the Cup.
“So it’s always been his goal and he’s ready to go.”
Wodonga’s premier trainer, Brian Cox, will also take a strong hand in the cup with He’s An Angel.
The winner of almost $200,000 in prizemoney finished at the tail of the field in a high-quality Ted Ryder Cup at Wagga in his last start but was second in the Berrigan Cup five runs ago.
Wagga’s Trevor Sutherland will saddle up top weight My Dear Friend in the cup.
The six-year-old mare led heading for home in Ted Ryder Cup before finishing 11th, a length in front of He’s An Angel.