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    UP FOR GRABS: Horsham and District Racing Club manager Charmayne Parry and trainer Paul Preusker, with horse Bruno Stars, prepare for the 2021 Horsham Cup. Preusker will have two runners in the main event, Coin Collector and All Ends Rock. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

All ready for Horsham Cup – but still no crowds


A super day of racing looms this Sunday as Horsham and District Racing Club hosts the 2021 edition of the Millers Horsham Cup. 

The $60,000 event headlines a terrific card of racing, which also features a $100,000 heat for the Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Series. 

This will be a hotly contested affair with the first two runners to greet the judge progressing to the country final at Flemington on Oaks Day on November 4, a race that carries a purse of $500,000. 

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Horsham club president Jason Merlo said having a race like this on the program was a boost for the club. 

“We had some of the bigger stables bring horses to our meeting last month and having a race like this encourages them to come back and bring their better ones here,” he said.

Mr Merlo also noted the change in cup distance from 1800 to 2100 metres as a positive development.

“Out to the further distance we can attract a better type of horse whose connections might be looking to roll onto bigger and better things,” he said. 

While lamenting the absence of patrons this week, Mr Merlo said the club remained upbeat about welcoming the public back to annual Santa Day races on December 19.

“People can start looking online. We’re throwing together some packages and they’ll be right to start bookings at the end of the week,” he said.

Wimmera connections have traditionally fared well on Horsham Cup Day and this year looks no exception. 

Horsham trainer Paul Preusker will saddle up a strong hand of runners throughout the day and has identified Coin Collector as one of his key chances. The five-year-old gelding is a recent addition to his McKenzie Creek operation and Preusker expects the newcomer to put his best foot forward in the cup.

“He ran well in the Murtoa Cup last start given he doesn’t like wet ground,” he said.

“The 2100 metres suits and the track will suit him. He’ll go forward and make his own luck.” 

Preusker described the ex-Danny O’Brien galloper as a ‘nice enough horse’ but conceded the change in cup distance presented a new challenge.

“Having the race go back to the 2100 metres throws up a few unknowns,” he said.

Preusker will unveil a few first starters at Sunday’s meeting, noting they will all be better for the race-day experience.

The winners keep coming from recent sets of jump-outs across the Wimmera. 

Astute readers of this column would have backed $6 Savatoxl to win the Group Two Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield last Saturday, following his impressive pipe-opener at Ararat a fortnight earlier.

The entire October 13, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!