This year's City of Port Augusta Cup is set to be a magnificent race with plenty of horses in great form ahead of Sunday’s feature.
Last year’s winner New Empire returns to Port Augusta hoping to be the first horse to go back to back since Pelekunu Valley in 2011/12. Since his victory in last year’s Cup, New Empire has transferred from the Lisa Whittle stable to be in the hands of Gawler based trainer Gary Searle.
This year Whittle will have the top-weight Peressini in the race and will be ridden by in-form apprentice Brandon Griffiths. Griffiths has an outstanding record at Port Augusta this year, riding 9 winners from 23 starts at a strike rate of 39%.
The Jordan Frew trained Umaluka has not been defeated in his three runs this preparation at Port Augusta and has never been beaten at the track in four starts.
It’s Fred is currently leading the Outback Cups Championship this season after winning both the Whyalla Cup and Squatters Cup at Port Augusta. Trainer Paula Trenwith will be hoping the gelding will be able to add another Cup to his resume after taking out the Broken Hill Outback Cup earlier this year.
Local trainer Kylie Mckerlie has trained the most winners at Port Augusta this season, currently leading the premiership on five wins. She saddles up Eigelstein in the Cup and the gelding will be ridden by Krystal Bishop who steered him to his last win at Morphettville in October last year.
Finally, there is sure to be plenty of interest in the Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas trained Soaring High. Macdonald & Gluyas have had recent success in the Port Augusta Cup, last winning the feature in 2014 with Gossip Guru. The gelding has been running in some quality races in Adelaide and if he can handle the dirt track he should be running a good race. Jockey Clare Lindop is set to take the ride on Sunday returning to Port Augusta for the first time since 2014.