The 2020 Ballarat Cup (2000m) is in local trainer Dan O’Sullivan’s sights, with in-form mare Affair To Remember his lone hope in the $500,000 event.
The camp have booked star rider Mark Zahra for the job on Saturday, after regular hoop Michael Poy was unable to have his careless riding suspension overturned.
Poy piloted Affair To Remember to victory in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes on Stakes Day at Flemington.
Michael Poy wins the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes aboard Affair To Remember in a terrific finish. ✨ pic.twitter.com/BXmamzmVlP
— Racing.com (@Racing) November 7, 2020
“Michael had a really nice affinity with her and the owners wanted him to stay on but we’re very lucky to have a top-class jockey like Mark be able to take the ride,” O’Sullivan said.
“We’re definitely not there just to make up the numbers, I’m expecting her to run well.
“Group 1 winners like Kings Will Dream will be tough to take on but she meets them much better in the weights.
“She’ll definitely go to the paddock after this run and be set for the autumn, but she hasn’t trained off yet and has stayed at the level she was going into the Matriarch.
“I was happy with her work on Tuesday morning and it’s good to see that she’s stayed at that consistent level.
“She did a bit wrong at Flemington too, slow away again and laying in, she was having a mares day so I still think she can turn up and run to that level on Saturday for sure.”
O’Sullivan admitted that it would be a meaningful win if he was able to take out his hometown Ballarat Cup.
“It would mean a lot if she was able to win it,” he said.
“But her main target was the Matriarch, to get that Group 2 victory, and now she has there’s nothing to lose running this weekend, but the possibility of a lot to gain with half a million dollars on offer.”