Born in Three Springs, domiciled in Albany for the past 20 years, experienced trainer Gary Delane now calls Geraldton home.
Delane is no stranger to Geraldton, having lived in the mid-west in the late 80s and early 90s while boarding at high school.
Delane is also no interloper when it comes to winning the region’s biggest thoroughbred racing event: The Geraldton Cup
In 2001 he savoured success with Sir Donald, a Rubiton gelding who scored a surprising win over Sea Gambler and Dynaliebe.
Almost two decades on Delane is set to have another crack at the Tabtouch-Geraldton Gold Cup (2100m), and he rates his chances highly.
He has two runners in Sunday’s $100,000 feature, Defiantly and Proxy, but without any doubt it’s the former that carries his lofty expectations.
Defiantly, a six-year-old mare, has seven wins from 40 starts to her name, including victory over the in-form Media Baron last year.
Delane is a big admirer of Defiantly and insists only bad luck has denied the daughter of Demerit from adding to her record.
Defiantly is the current $3.70 Geraldton Cup favourite, having earned market leadership after her last-start win at Geraldton over 2025m.
Delane said from the moment she stormed home powerfully from the tail of the field to win by 1 ¾ lengths, he had his sights set on a second Geraldton Cup.
“It’s been on the radar for a little while,” Delane told The Races WA.
“I won it a long time ago and it would be nice to win it again.
“She has been going well, terrific really and would only have to step out like she did the other day.
“She hit the line full of running and I was really impressed.
“She really ran away from them.
“She is not a horse who has got a lot of luck in her races.
“I reckon she probably should have won 15 races at least.
“Hopefully luck goes her way on Sunday, because she deserves to win a race like that.
“She is always there doing her best hitting the line hard.
“She has just got a great turn of foot at the end of a staying race.
“If she gets clear galloping room I don’t think there are going to be too many better than her.”
Defiantly has drawn barrier nine. Lucy Warwick retains the ride. Emma Stent partners Proxy from gate three. The eight-year-old ran fifth to Defiantly last-start.
“He is just an old iron horse,” Delane said.
“I’ve put the winkers on to try and find a bit more.
“He needs to get rolling from the 800m.
“I’m not frightened to have something each-way on him.”
Proxy is rated a $18 chance.