Mornington trainer Brett Scott is hoping to add another country Cup to his recent haul with Kiwi galloper Our Big Mike, who is also aiming for his second Pakenham Cup victory.
Two years ago, Our Big Mike led throughout to win the 2500 metre race for his New Zealand trainer Craig Phelan.
This campaign, Our Big Mike has been prepared by Scott, who is aiming for his third country Cups win in six weeks.
Our Big Mike won the Moe Cup three starts ago but at his most recent outing finished last behind stablemate Irish Flame in the Ballarat Cup.
On that occasion he led but was under pressure a long way out and finished a distant last.
Scott explained that Our Big Mike would have finished closer if he wasn’t checked in the straight.
“I think he would have beaten four or five and the run wouldn’t have looked that bad except he was checked with 200 metres to go. He was beaten but he was still battling away,” Scott said.
“Still, I think he was outclassed in that sort of race but the Pakenham Cup is slightly easier.”
Our Big Mike will be reunited with heavyweight jockey Noel Callow, who rode him to victory in the Moe Cup.
Scott said Our Big Mike wouldn’t be changing his on-speed style of racing and would most likely take up the lead.
“He’ll go forward but Noel will have to keep an eye on Gai Waterhouse’s Knights Order who also leads,” Scott said.
“We might have to take a sit on it but that’s up to Noel.”
Scott said if the predicted rain eventuated that would also play into Our Big Mike’s favour as he is better on wet tracks.
He also confirmed Ballarat Cup winner Irish Flame would have a short break before coming back for the Sydney autumn carnival.
Scott said the Sydney Cup could prove a bridge too far for him next preparation.
“I’ll set him for the Chairman’s Stakes at Randwick and take it from there. Hopefully he can take advantage of the wet tracks,” Scott said.
Scott said he would love to get Irish Flame into the Caulfield Cup next spring.