THE Gino D’Altorio gelding Sonro will be out to create history this weekend at Dalton Park by being the first locally trained horse to win the feature race on Griffith Cup day.
Having already picked up cup wins in Narrandera and Young in his current preparation, Sonro is a legitimate chance of being first past the post in the $15,000 main race on Saturday.
Griffith Jockey Club’s Tony Kelly was on hand for Sonro’s win in Narrandera and said while there were threats from Victoria this weekend, the quality of the race looks to be on par with the cup field at Narrandera.
“In his preparation for this weekend he won some good races – like at Young nice and easily – he won the Narrandera Cup the other day and he’s been a bit unlucky a couple of other races,” Kelly said.
Joel Maconachie, who piloted Sonro to his win at Narrandera on August 18, was at Dalton Park yesterday riding track work and looks set to get the ride on the local hope this weekend.
“He’s pretty much doing that now, it’s like anything, an apprentice doesn’t get a horse to go as well as somebody who’s had more experience,” Kelly said of D’Altorio’s change in hoop.
“And really as long as they can balance him up and put him in a good position, he’s going to run a race himself because he is an easy horse to ride.
“That’s why he (D’Altorio) has put some apprentices on him early in his prep when he’s carrying big weight, it’s just smart to look after him a bit.
"But he’s in great form at the moment and he looks really well in himself.”
Kelly hoped for rain today to freshen up Dalton Park, but said it looked in sensational condition ahead of the big day.
“They’re forecasting showers (today), but because I’m looking after the track I’m in a bit of a quandary,” he said.
“If it doesn’t rain tomorrow then I might have to put 5-10mm of water on it on Thursday, but as it stands at he moment, Joel (Maconachie) said the track was beautiful and was about a Good 3.
"It does look a bit brown because of all of the frosts we’ve had this year, but there’s a good cover. It should be a good surface.”