Albany trainer Gary Delane is giving veteran campaigner Insurgency a big chance of causing an upset in the XXXX-Gold Narrogin Cup (1900m).
Insurgency could be nearing the end of a long and sustained campaign but Delane insists the rising 11-year-old is in with legitimate claims.
The son of Street Cry has been in work since last September with Sunday’s $70,000 Narrogin Cup to be his 20th start this campaign.
However since posting three wins and three placings between December and February, his form has tapered off and he will have to shift into another after figuring out of the money at Albany, Mount Barker and Ascot.
But giving Delane cause for increased optimism is Insurgency’s terrific record in the Narrogin Cup and a doubt concerning favourite Ram Jam.
Insurgency won the 2011 Narrogin Cup in comprehensive fashion from Dajraan, ran second to Finnegans Gold in 2013 and last year ran on for fourth behind Bunbury mare, Be So Ryski.
“He gets around the course well and this is a really good race for him,” said Delane.
“I think he is going well and I would dismiss his last run when they walked and sprinted home.
“He has been up for a while but certainly hasn’t lost his desire for racing.
“Ram Jam will take some beating but I give Insurgency a good chance.
“I was going to run him over 2200m at Ascot on Saturday but had a change of mind after talking to Hally (Peter Hall).
“I thought he could win that race so I’m going to Narrogin expecting something.
“I’m very familiar with the road but he is not there to make up the numbers.”
Darren McAuliffe is looking to get one back with Ram Jam after his best laid plans in the Albany Cup came unstuck courtesy of Jerry Noske.
The gun apprentice outrode her rival jockeys and caught them off guard when she took off and set up a commanding lead on Ningaloo Blitz.
Ram Jam in partnership with Ben Kennedy did his best to charge home for a gallant second, but for McAuliffe it was a missed opportunity.
“It was very disappointing as it would have been nice to win my hometown Albany Cup,” said McAuliffe.
“Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be but you have to respect horses and can’t give them seven or eight lengths starts on straightening.
“He was tuned up for the race and it was one we wanted to win but whether he starts in the Narrogin Cup remains to be seen.
“I may even hold him over for another week and the Diggers’ Cup, but I will decide Sunday morning if we go that way.
“It’s a tricky track (Narrogin) and I’m mindful that he has been there before and failed.”
Shane Quilty will take a two-pronged attack into the Narrogin Cup and expects Dabang to be the big improver after running sixth of seven to My Bonny Lad when retuning first up in the York Cup (1500m) on April 6.
“Dabang is always honest and found the York Cup a little sharp for her,” said Quilty.
“Over the 1900m she should be a little more prominent.
“Run For Rum is a hard horse to catch and you don’t know what to expect from him.”
Ram Jam is the $2.50 TAB favourite with Cougar Express next at $4.40 and Ningaloo Blitz $6.
Cougar Express is racing with renewed zest and could prove hard to run down if he reproduces his twin front-running victories at York and Ascot.
Ningaloo Blitz carries top weight of 59kg and backs up for her third start in as many weeks after beating two home in last Saturdays Western Australian Cup (3200m).
Insurgency is rated one of the outsiders at $17.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli