VETERAN galloper Diamonds At Noon will be saved for the last crack at his seven rivals in the $15,000 Penshurst Cup today, according to his trainer Bill Cerchi.
The colourful mentor predicts Diamonds At Noon will be a few lengths from the leaders on the home turn in the feature race at the annual meeting but is confident the seven-year-old can storm home to win the 2000-metre race.
“We’re going to be out the back but that is how he races,” Cerchi said.
“I reckon he will have the last crack at them and can win.
‘‘I think having a small field will be a bonus.
“We’ve freshened him up since his last run at Moonee Valley a month ago with the Penshurst Cup in mind.
“We’ve been swimming him and doing light trackwork at home getting him ready for this race.”
The Colac trainer, who was formerly based at Coleraine, said Diamonds At Noon needed a month’s break following hard runs at St Arnaud, Mortlake and Dunkeld before his Moonee Valley run.
“He ran third in the St Arnaud Cup and followed that up with a win in the Mortlake Cup and then was really unlucky in the Dunkeld Cup,” Cerchi said.
“He had a couple of tough runs and needed the break.
“I think the topweight Xavier is the one to beat.
“He’s got a bit of form around Diamonds At Noon.
“I reckon Xavier will be one of the leaders and we’ll be out the back trying to catch him.
“With a bit of luck I think we can win.”
Warrnambool’s Wilde stable will attempt to win its fourth Penshurst Cup when it saddles up five-year-old mare Finley Harper.
Swift Encounter and Whelan (two) contributed Penshurst Cup victories for the father-and-son training partnership of Bill and Symon Wilde.
Symon is hopeful that Finley Harper can add to that record today.
“Finley Harper scored a really good win at Warrnambool two runs back,” he said.
“She led the whole way in the benchmark 70 race and then failed under lights at Moonee Valley.
“She missed the start at the Valley so she was out of the race.
“I reckon she’ll be better suited dropping back to a country race.
“She looks well in on weights and should bowl along in a forward position, which suits around Penshurst.”
The Penshurst Cup is race six on the seven-event program and is scheduled to start at 4.55pm.