Simon Foster is heading into Saturday’s $160,000 Listed XXXX-Gold Kalgoorlie Cup (2300m) in contrasting fashion to last year.
The Bunbury horseman saddled Fanicio, one of the leading candidates after his slashing win in the Boulder Cup (1760m).
The bay gelding ran fifth to Classique Ivory but could certainly have finished closer than 4 ½ lengths if not for bad luck.
Foster is back for another attempt but his expectations this year are understated as he goes in with outsider Reset’s Mate.
Last Sunday the Reset gelding couldn’t replicate Fanicio’s effort when he ran sixth to Red Blast in the Boulder Cup (2100m).
But there was something to take out of his previous performance over 2100m at Belmont that could curry favour with punters.
He made ground to run second to Zarantz, strong form lines against a hot staying prospect who has won four in a row.
Foster believes a step-up in distance and an extra week in Kalgoorlie are two crucial factors that will assist Reset’s Mate.
“The trip from Bunbury knocked him around a bit but over the past couple of days he has done really well,” said Foster.
“The 2300m is going to be right up his alley and I’m confident we will see a better run out of him on Saturday.”
Meanwhile Ben Kennedy reclaims the ride on Boulder Cup runner-up, Ram Jam.
Kennedy partnered Ram Jam to three of his first five victories this campaign at Kalgoorlie and Northam.
After vacationing overseas he takes over from William Pike who will take mounts at Belmont on Saturday.
Kennedy and Ram Jam will jump from the second widest gate in the field of 13.
Trainer Darren McAuliffe is unfazed by the draw.
“He is incredibly quick out of the barriers and that’s his biggest weapon,” said McAuliffe.
“Normally with stayers you have to ride them cold so they don’t over race.
“He can put himself into the race within the first three strides before switching off.”