Local King chases Grafton Cup start
A WIN by Castlemagne King in tomorrow's $20,000 Westlawn Finance Grafton Cup Prelude (2016m) would catapult him into the $150,000 Grafton Cup.
Coffs Harbour trainer Basil Ryan said should the in-form six-year-old triumph in the Prelude, a start in the Clarence River Jockey Club flagship 2350m race next Thursday would become a reality.
"The Grafton Cup is a completely different race but he'll get in with 54 kilos and we'll just see how we go," Ryan said.
"The horse is as good as gold, ready to go tomorrow."
Castlemagne King is a last start winner of the Murwillumbah Cup (2000m) on June 24.
Ryan revealed the stayer suffered a setback leading into the event.
"He was working on the smaller track at Coffs and got little pebbles between his shoe and feet," Ryan said. "It penetrated into his heels and he was sore as buggery after his previous run at Grafton.
"He had 10 days off and only seven days work before Murwillumbah.
"He's improved a couple of lengths since then.
"He's going to be pretty hard to beat tomorrow."
Castlemagne King was a birthday present for Ryan's wife Tracey.
He previously trained a horse named Seguista, a winner at Ipswich and Eagle Farm, who had plenty of ability but bad legs. Seguista, originally with Paul Perry, is out of the mare Plaza Athenee.
When Plaza Athenee came up for sale in Melbourne, Ryan went down and purchased her. She was carrying a four month foal which turned out to be Castlemagne King.