Trainer John Gilmore has Happy Go Plucky in a happy place ahead of the $160,000 Grafton Cup LR on Thursday.
“I gave him a roll this morning and he’s jumping out of his skin,” Gilmore reported from the Gold Coast on Tuesday. “Everything’s gone to plan since his win in the Cup Prelude last week. He’s up in class but drops from 61kg to 54kg.”
This week’s Grafton carnival will be conducted on a Soft 7 but any surface is sweet with Happy Go Plucky and his sire Pluck. “The ground doesn’t matter as long as Jimmy (Byrne) sits back off the speed,” Gilmore said. “You can’t rev him up. He’s a better chaser and he broke the track-record for 2200m at Eagle Farm last December.
“He’s as sound as a bell and came straight home after the Cup Prelude to empty the feed-bin. I travelled back in the float, too and he pulled up better than me!”
Vinery partner Greg Perry bred Happy Go Plucky using Pluck over his Vo Rogue Plate LR winner Dirty (Hussonet). The mare has also foaled Sydney stakes-performer Cabeza de Vaca.
Perry and Pluck are now in a position to win black-type in the Ramornie Hcp LR on Wednesday with Star Boy. He gained a late call-up after three scratchings in the feature sprint.
Star Boy is trained by Brett Cavanough at Scone and has won 6 times in 14 starts after overcoming hoof problems earlier in his career. Perry bred him from Cubana Moss (Mossman) and she is also the dam of Cavanough’s 3yo gelding Boom Gate (Casino Prince).
Boom Gate joins his stablemate in Grafton for Race 4 on Wednesday. Cavanough was contemplating a start in the Grafton Guineas before opting for an easier mile assignment.
Casino Prince filly Charmed Princess will run in a Grafton Guineas already reduced by a half-dozen scratchings. She flew home to win the Guineas Prelude thanks to a peach of a ride by Matt McGuren.
Charmed Princess is known as ‘Molly’ around Tony Newing’s stables at Gosford and she also owns a decent strike-rate winning 4 times in 9 starts for an SJ Racing syndicate managed by Nathan Krepp.
Pluck and Casino Prince provide a winning platform for the Vinery Stud roster this year. Both stallions are proven winner-getters and excellent value at a $6,600 (inc GST) service fee.