First Affair can become the first stayer since Lawmaker in 2002 to win a famous Goldfields double in the same season when she tackles the $130,000 Listed XXXX Gold Kalgoorlie Cup (2300m) on Saturday.
The Adam Durrant-trained mare captured the first leg of a prestigious double when she charged home strongly to defeat State Prosecutor by a half-length in last Sunday week’s Listed Boulder Cup (2100m).
First Affair’s victory, her ninth from 38 starts, gave young jockey Jordan Turner his first Listed success and followed an eye-catching third to Pushin’ Shapes a fortnight earlier in the Coolgardie Cup (1760m).
Durrant, who won the Kalgoorlie Cup in 2012 with Lopov, said First Affair is small in stature, but had a big heart and he was confident the pint-sized mare would be able to extend her good form in Kalgoorlie.
“She has thrived since being in Kalgoorlie and has appreciated being on top of the ground and racing on a firm track,” Durrant said.
“She has trained on so well and I’m really happy with her. If she brings her recent form she is going to be hard to beat.”
Durrant also saddles-up At The Ready in the Kalgoorlie Cup, giving him a potent two-pronged attack in the field of eight starters.
At The Ready underlined his staying credentials by winning the Geraldton Cup (2100m) in April, but Durrant has concerns about extending his campaign in Kalgoorlie.
The Myboycharlie gelding has been racing since last December and at his previous start nearly a month ago ran fifth behind Prying Tom over 2200m at Belmont.
“At his best At The Ready is the better stayer than First Affair over 2300m,” Durrant said.
“My only worry is that he might be reaching the end of his campaign.
“He has been up a long time and I may have gone six weeks further than I wanted with him.
“This is his final run before he goes to the paddock and I’m hoping to get one more run out of him.
“If I was having a bet I would be leaning to First Affair because she is thriving.”
First Affair has drawn barrier six and Turner retains the ride. Mitchell Pateman takes the mount on At The Ready.
Top Kalgoorlie trainer Peter Fernie carries local hopes with Inject The Venom. The seven-year-old has outside claims after a strong fifth in the Boulder Cup.
“He has been racing great and we now have to hope he can match it with the top three. (At The Ready, First Affair & State Prosecutor)
“But you never know and you have to have a go.”
State Prosecutor ($2.20) and First Affair ($2.80) sit one-two in Tabtouch markets.
At The Ready ($5.50) and Gloryland ($8) are the only other runners in single figures.
Inject The Venom is rated a $14 chance.