THE Gerry Harvey-owned Landlocked is Wagga Gold Cup bound after a dominant victory in the feature at Gundagai on Monday.
Landlocked was sent out a short-priced favourite and justified his quote with an easy 3.5 length win in the $30,000 Gundagai District Services Club Gundagai Cup (1800m).
The victory books Landlocked his place in the $140,000 Wagga Gold Cup (2000m) on May 1, with the winner of the Gundagai Cup exempt of the ballot.
Queanbeyan trainer Joe Cleary cannot wait.
“I’ve won the Wagga Town Plate and now I’m out to win the Wagga Gold Cup,” he said after the Gundagai win.
“It would look good on the mantlepiece.”
Landlocked ($2.10), finished well clear of Liming ($13.00) and Heysen ($3.80), who filled the placings.
Cleary expected Landlocked to be too good at Gundagai and warned he is not at his peak yet.
“I’ll have him peaking on Wagga Cup day," he said.
“He hasn’t peaked yet, he would have had another good blow (on Monday) and when I produce him on Wagga Cup day there will be no excuses.”
Landlocked, owned by Harvey, started his career with Anthony Cummings and was transferred to Cleary’s stable last year.
He has had nine starts for Cleary and returned four wins, including a Queanbeyan and Gundagai Cup and also a win Wagga.
The Wagga Gold Cup has been Cleary’s aim from the start of this preparation.
He acknowledged he is not the traditional ‘big name’ horse to win a Wagga Gold Cup but has been tactical about sneaking him into the race.
“The main aim this prep is obviously the Wagga Cup so I wanted to win either the Gundagai Cup or the Murrumbidgee Cup next Sunday to make the field,” he said.
“We had to find a way through the back door to get him in there ands we’ve done that.
“I think we’ll beat the handicapper and we’re coming.”
Landlocked will have one more start before the Cup, in a Benchmark 80 Handicap (1900m) at Canterbury on April 22.
Cleary won the 2003 Wagga Town Plate as a 27-year-old with Ta Ta Tatiana.
Meantime, Tumut trainer Kerry Weir enjoyed success with Cod Rock at Gundagai.
Cod Rock ($9.00), ridden by Simon Miller, continued his good recent form by beating a handy field in the $15,000 XXXX Gold Benchmark 65 Handicap (1180m).
Wagga trainers Trevor Sutherland and Todd Smart also had wins with Pure Esteem ($14.00) and Diluvium ($4.00).
The last race was abandoned due to the bad weather.
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