TWO Warrnambool charities plus the National Jockeys Trust will be the big winners if hot favourite Grandslam wins the $300,000 Sungold Milk Warrnambool Cup on Thursday.
The proposed Lookout residential drug rehabilitation centre and Standing Tall stand to benefit.
Part-owners of Grandslam, Colin McKenna and Malcolm Fallon, said they would make a donation to the charities if the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained galloper won the feature flat race of the three-day carnival.
McKenna and his wife Janice raised more than $100,000 for the three charities at a fundraiser at the Union Station Hotel Woolsthorpe on Monday.
Maher said Grandslam, who will be ridden by star jockey Jamie Kah, was in peak condition leading into the 2350-metre race after an impressive Caulfield win at his last start.
It'll be a great result not only for Grandslam's owners if he wins but also for the three charities. Jamie has a great understanding of the horse.- Ciaron Maher
"Grandslam is in great order," the Winslow training export said.
"It'll be a great result not only for Grandslam's owners if he wins but also for the three charities. Jamie has a great understanding of the horse.
"He's not the easiest horse to ride. Jamie has done a lot of work on Grandslam and she's got him to settle perfectly in his races. He's drawn an ideal barrier in five for Jamie to push forward.
"The only slight concern in the back of my mind is if the track gets really wet. The wet track is a bit of an unknown. We'll just have to wait and see on that regard."
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Maher, who ran second in last year's Warrnambool Cup with Heart Of Puissance, said he was hoping Grandslam could give him his first Warrnambool Cup victory.
"The Warrnambool Cup has been on the bucket list," he said.
"Having been raised in Warrnambool, the cup was always a must -in race. We haven't had many runners in the cup. Grandslam is definitely the best chance I've had of winning.
"A win in the race would be very special as I know how important it's to Colin and Janice plus the other owners whom I'm great friends with to win the race."
Early betting markets have Grandslam a $1.85 chance to win the Warrnambool Cup which is at 3.55pm.
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