Pat Bermingham Jnr is hoping to end an emotional week on a winning high when he targets the Goldfields Toyota Cup (1300m) with Disciple on Sunday.
Bermingham Jnr lost one of his favourite horses last week when Prince Of Stars suffered a heart attack and sadly passed away after a track work accident.
The Balmont gelding won seven races from 31 starts and earned $119,650 in prizemoney with last year’s Toyota Cup victory a career highlight.
“He was an absolute ripper and a gentleman as well,” said Bermingham Jnr.
“He was the horse who put me on the map as a trainer.
“I picked him up as a yearling so he has been with us all the way through.
“He was a nice honest horse and they always take the good ones.”
Bermingham Jnr admits Disciple will have to step up and show marked improvement on what he has shown in his two Western Australian appearances.
The God’s Own seven-year-old won five races under the care of top Sydney trainer, Chris Waller, before joining Sean Casey in Perth last year.
He was pitched in at the deep end first up but failed to fire when 10th of 12 to Black Heart Bart in the Listed Carbine Stakes (1400m) at Ascot.
His maiden Perth campaign ended on a disappointing note when he pulled up lame after trailing the field behind He Or She in December.
“I’ve picked him up with a view to the Hannans,” said Bermingham Jnr.
“He obviously is going to have to turn a little of his form around.
“But Sean is adamant he is going well and he has arrived in good order.
“I’m not expecting too much first up but this will give me a good gauge.”
Disciple lumps top weight of 62kg with the claim of apprentice, Randy Tan. In a field of 11 they combine from barrier three.
Stephen Rowe’s Pharomac and Rafferty, one of three starters for leading trainer, Peter Fernie, appear the hardest to beat.
The pair locked horns two weeks ago with honours going to Pharomac who held out the fast-finishing Rafferty by a nose.
Pharomac is racing with renewed zest in the goldfields with three wins and a third placing from his four starts this campaign.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli