The new acquisition to the Paul Kahlefeldt stable has been handed a tough assignment first up.
Badge Of Gameness will have his first start for the Wagga trainer in the Griffith Pacers Cup on Saturday night.
The last start winner was purchased off Brett Woodhouse, but Kahlefeldt isn’t going into the $12,000 race with too much confidence.
“I think he will be up there, you can’t say he’s going to win it, but with the right run he will have a good chance,” Kahlefeldt said.
“He’s a tough horse but it depends on where he lobs after the start.
“There is a fair bit of speed on the front and he isn’t blessed with a lot of speed so I’m not sure where he will end up.”
The prolific breeder is more accustomed to purchasing fillies, but wanted to help adjust the gender imbalance in his stable.
He’s also looking to help son Jared, who will take the reins on Saturday night, further his career.
“We had too many fillies on the place,” Kahlefeldt said.
“We’re training something like 12 fillies and two geldings so I thought it was time to get another gelding, plus a faster class of horse too.
“He nice and tough and while he’s on a reasonably tough mark now as a C4, but we will just race him around here.
“If he’s competitive, which he has been, we might send him to Sydney for a little preparation around Menangle if he’s good enough, but I think he’s a good horse for Jared to continue to learn on.
“Some of the fillies are on season all the time and are inconsistent so it is hard to learn on mediocre horses.
“You have to have something that is competitive.”
Badge Of Gameness hasn’t finished outside the top four in any of his Riverina starts.
He’s won five races in the region plus been placed on another nine occasions, but faces a tough task to keep his record intact after drawing to start in barrier four.
“I’m not expecting too much,” Kahlefeldt said.
There is plenty of form in the race.
Onthestraitenarrow has won five straight for Leeton trainer Chris Hughes while Victorians Modern Lebron, Blackbird Power and Heza Bromac all head north with strong form on the board and good barriers as well.
Kahlefeldt is no stranger to success in Griffith’s feature.
He has won it on a handful of occasions, including with Miss Ponder in 2015 and Deemajor Hangover in 2013, but rates this by far the hardest field he’s seen assembled.
“It’s probably the strongest Griffith Cup I can remember,” he said.
“We had to go in to as there isn’t much else and Wagga doesn’t race for another three weeks.
“He needed the run so he whacked him in it.”