The well-travelled Billet Doux will make his first trip to the Limestone Coast on Sunday when he steps out in Sunday’s Mini Jumbuk Naracoorte Cup. The four-year-old made his racing debut at Oakbank back in 2016 and since then has raced at Caulfield, Darwin and in Adelaide. As a three-year-old he made the trip north and took out the $135k Northern Territory Derby before running fifth in the Darwin Cup.
This preparation Billet Doux has had five runs and despite tiring late last start, trainer Gordon Richards is confident that his campaign is still on track.
“Everything was going well up to his last start. The 2250m was just too far for him. It was run at a slow pace and he just over raced. The distance and tempo were really against him.” Richards said.
While the 340km trip to Naracoorte may deter some trainers, Richards is looking forward to the road trip.
“The prizemoney is not too bad and it’s a nice easy trip for a suitable race. It’ll be great to get out to a country cup.”
“He looks well suited for the Cup, it’s his right distance and is back in grade, so he should run well.”
While Billet Doux makes the trip east, there will be plenty of Limestone Coast trainers eyeing off a victory in their backyard.
Mount Gambier based Michael O’Leary will saddle up two runners including his iron horse Evenmoreaction. The eleven-year-old won the Naracoorte Cup back in 2013 when he carried 61kg to victory with Matt Neilson in the saddle. He will carry 2kg less this year with Shayne Cahill aboard. Apprentice Raquel Clark will ride his other runner, seven-year-old mare Autumn Sunset.
Fellow Mount Gambier trainer Richard Wilson’s Mista Holyfield will be looking to go one better this year after runner second in last year’s Cup.
While the two Sue’s, Murphy and Jaensch will be hoping for a hometown Cup victory with their runners. Sue Murphy has two runners in the feature with 2016 winner Hasta La Thomas and Athos who ran fifth in last year’s Cup. Sue Jaensch will saddle up last start winner Costa Lante, who defeated Athos over 2000m at Bordertown. Jaensch’s apprentice Justin Huxtable will ride the mare after combining for that last start win.