The form line of Irenic and apprentice jockey Rachel Hunt is hard to ignore as they team up in Saturday’s Group Nine Men Of League Cup at Murrumbidgee Turf Club.
Goulburn trainer Mark Gee will saddle up two runners in the feature race and while facts and figures say Irenic, he isn’t discounting stable mate Tommy Gun.
Hunt has ridden Irenic in six consecutive races for a first, three placings and two fourths and will reduce the galloper’s weight by two kilograms to 59 kilograms in the Benchmark 55 Handicap (2000m).
“Their record together speaks for itself. It was a very good win at Canberra last week and seeing as there was another 2000 metre race on we decided to go for that,” Gee said.
“There hasn’t been much racing on because of the wet tracks and a 2000 metre race eight days after Canberra will suit.
“You have to try and win these races while they are available and I think he is well placed again.”
On trackwork, Tommy Gun is lengths superior according to his trainer but he is yet to place in eight starts for Gee.
It has been frustrating for the trainer as he feels if Tommy Gun fired he would win.
“I have just been trying to work him out,” Gee said.
“He should improve and it wouldn’t surprise me if he won but he hasn’t been showing in races what he can do in track work.”
The gelding ran an improved race last start when only beaten 3½ lengths behind Only In Red at Nowra.
Canberra-based jockey John Kissick will reclaim the ride.
Irenic will start favourite on the strength of his recent consistent form and finds a suitable race where he appears to have the edge.
“He is in good order and race fit so he will be a good chance again,” the trainer suggested.
Meantime, the Wagga track was upgraded to a soft six on Friday afternoon.
MTC chief executive Scott Sanbrook said a week’s worth of dry weather had made a big difference.
“The last couple of days have provided excellent drying weather,” Sanbrook said.
“The track has improved and it’s terrific to see it improve out of the heavy range.”
It is Men of League race day at MTC on Saturday where proceeds from fundraising will go to supporting the family of the late Craig Webster.
“If we got 1000 people it would be a good result.”