Prelude to Determine Castlemagne King’s Grafton Cup Credentials

July 5th, 2012

A win in today’s Grafton Cup Prelude (2100m) could see Coffs Harbour gelding Castlemagne King gain a start in next week’s Listed $150,000 Grafton Cup (2350m)

Trained by Basil Ryan, the heavily-raced six-year-old has been in tremendous form of late, producing two top three finishes at Grafton before winning the Murwillambah Cup.

The win at Murwillumbah came on the back of an injury-affected preparation after Castlemagne King stood on some pebbles during trackwork in the lead-up.

Following the incident, the veteran of 59 starts pulled up sore and missed work heading into the Murwillumbah feature.

Ryan said the horse is a much-improved product from his last-start win and will all but certainly allow him a Grafton Cup berth if he wins today.

“He’s improved a couple of lengths since then. He’s going to be pretty hard to beat,” Ryan said.

“The horse is as good as gold, ready to go.

“The Grafton Cup is a completely different race but he’ll get in with 54 kilos and we’ll just see how we go.”

Headlining the list of rivals in today’s Grafton Cup prelude is New Zealand-bred mare Danahere who won at the Grafton track last start.

If any horse proceeds from today’s event into next week’s lucrative feature they will face a tough test, with some quality horses being set for the race.

One of those is Shenzhou Steeds who signalled his potential as a classy stayer of the future with victories in both the Ipswich and Caloundra Cups.

Also likely to start in the Grafton Cup is Shamardashing who produced some solid runs in Group level events at the Brisbane Carnival.

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