Flourishing form from Backhouse Street has convinced Bunbury trainer Graeme Evans to have a shot at the $70,000 Esperance Cup (2020m) on Saturday.
It was not on Evan’s mind when Backhouse Street commenced his campaign in October, but such has been the gelding’s form he’s had a rethink.
Evans sent Backhouse Street to the Great Southern in search of confidence and the Ihtiram gelding has responded to the challenge.
Repaying Evan’s faith he hasn’t missed a cheque and pressed his claims with consecutive wins at Albany and Mount Barker.
He finished over the top of Insurgency to score by 1 ¼ lengths and produced a similar run and margin when defeating King Point.
Evans said Backhouse Street, who has city wins at Ascot and Belmont to his record, warranted an opportunity to win his biggest race.
“I don’t think the race is going to be overly strong and he deserves an opportunity to have a crack at it,” said Evans.
“He is probably at his peak and while he is in good form why not have a go because you might not get another chance.”
While Backhouse Street has relished his trips to the Great Southern, he is breaking new ground in Esperance and Evans concedes he is heading into unchartered territory.
“When we go down to Albany and Mount Barker we leave and come back on the same day,” said Evans.
“I’ve never travelled and been away with a horse for an extended period so it’s a new experience for me.
“That’s why I will head to Esperance a few days before so he can get a good look and feel of the track.”
Backhouse Street will be in the hands of Kyra Yuill who is among an outstanding group of Australian riders that will represent their respective states in the ‘State Of Origin’ jockey challenge on Bunbury Cup next month.
Yuill (WA) will be joined by Jay Ford (New South Wales), Brad Rawiller (Victoria), David Pires (Tasmania), Claire Lindop (South Australia) and Brendon Davis (Northern Territory).
Noel Callow, who won last year’s inaugural series after guiding Not A Single Drop for trainer, Michael Lane, returns to defend his title representing the internationals.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli