Cherry ripe for home town Cup win
COFFS Harbour trainer Brett Dodson is confident his smart mare Erinsea is over some niggling foot issues and poised to deliver his first home town cup in the $60,000 Carlton Mid Coffs Harbour Gold Cup this afternoon.
After finishing runner-up to Beggin at Grafton on July 12, Erinsea suffered bruising to her hooves.
"It was on a little hiccup, she's completely over the problem," Dodson said.
"Her work this week on the grass has been beautiful.
"She's worked as good as ever, going as good as she's ever been."
Erinsea represents only Dodson's second Coffs Harbour Gold Cup runner after Outer Pole finished an unlucky fourth to Legendary Man in 2009.
"Tamworth was my old home town and to go back and win the cup twice with Kreisler's Jewel (2004-05) was a great thrill," he added.
"Now I'm in Coffs, to win the Cup would be a huge buzz for me and especially for a good group of owners who have supported me with plenty of horses over the years."
Erinsea, a six-year-old mare and winner of seven from 24 starts, is raced by Gary and Judy Alterator from the Gold Coast, Bill McLellan from Umina and the Toorang Racing syndicate with members based at Tamworth and the Central Coast.
"All the owners are here for the cup. Let's hope it's a great day for all of us," the trainer said.
Erinsea has been in devastating form this campaign.
The daughter of Last Tycoon has won four of her past five starts and has a penchant for wet tracks and her home patch where she has three wins, three seconds and a third from seven starts.
And while the track is drying, Erinsea performs on all surfaces Dodson said.
"She handles all types of tracks, especially with the sting out," he added.
"And she's got a real good turn of foot, her biggest asset. I think she'll show that even better over the 1600 metres."
Erinsea will carry 54kg and launches from barrier 14 with Matthew Bennett, riding under a stay of proceedings aboard.
"I'm not concerned about the barrier," Dodson stated..
"She's going to get back to midfield. Hopefully there's a bit of pace on. The main thing is she gets cover in running.
"If there's speed on I reckon she'll let down real well especially only carrying 54 kilos. That's a 5.5 kilo drop on her last start. She's not real big yet she's carried big weights most of this campaign."
Tamworth trainer Leon Davies has warned not to sell Clever Hans short.
"I wouldn't swap him for any other horse in the race," Davies said. "The horse is flying.
"I couldn't be happier with him. He's 110 per cent spot on."
Davies added the gelding was now at his peak after four runs for the new stable which includes a runner-up to Carry Me Bluey in the South Grafton Cup (1600m) and a last start fourth to Hour Of Peril in the Listed Tatt's Mile at Eagle Farm.