A HORROR barrier draw has only put a slight dent in trainer Brett Cavanough’s confidence as he chases back-to-back victories in Friday’s Albury Gold Cup with Niblick.
Last year’s cup winner drew barrier 18 but will jump from barrier 16 with the two emergencies drawn inside the classy galloper.
Cavanough hardly blinked an eyelid when the barrier was announced as he checked the weather forecast on his ipad.
Depending on which weather site you check, most are predicting a 90 per cent chance of up to 100 millimetres before Friday’s cup.
While the prospect of a heavy track could see the scratching of several of the more fancied runners, Cavanough was beaming at the forecast.
Niblick ploughed through a heavy (8) to claim the Albury feature last year and the prospect of another rain affected track would once again see his chances sky-rocket.
VISIT our ALBURY GOLD CUP HUB for today's racing headlines:
- Cav not phased on horror barrier
- Cup best field we've had
- COX v CAV: Trainers to clash in Flat Knacker
Stablemate Price Of Glory is also a noted mudlark and finished less then half-a-length behind Niblick in last year’s cup.
“The weather radar looks pretty promising for my two,” Cavanough said.
“From a club and crowd point of view you don’t want it, but from my point of view the wetter the better.”
Last year Niblick won the $101,500 Listed National Sprint (1400 metres) in Canberra first-up before handing Cavanough his first hometown feature.
In contrast, Niblick has had two starts this preparation at Flemington and Canberra and twice finished near the tail of the field.
Cavanough warned punters to dismiss Niblick’s recent form.
“He has been on a different training program,” he said.
“Last year we had him wound up for a first-up assault.
“This time we sent him to town first-up and we pulled all the gear off him and had a look at him.
“He only cantered around and just went fair and didn’t try real hard and then didn’t have much luck at Canberra at his most recent start.
“The plan was to having him at his peak for the Albury Cup and his track work on Tuesday was nothing short of excellent.”
Jake Duffy has been booked for his first ride on Niblick while Linda Meech will partner Price Of Glory.