Champion horseman Frank Maynard says he is delighted to be having another shot at winning the XXXX-Gold Kalgoorlie Cup (2300m) on Saturday.
The Kalgoorlie-born trainer, who hasn’t tackled the historic Goldfields staying feature in eight years, will pin his faith with outsider Gold Broker.
Maynard‘s horsemanship skills are revered in his hometown and reached iconic status after training a record six Kalgoorlie Cups.
He won with Black Tom (2006), Signpost (1992), Zio Remus (1998), Call Me Kiwi (1997), Profile Lad (1985) and Makvaya (1974).
As a three-year-old Gold Broker won the Listed Melvista Stakes (2200m) when under the guidance of Dan Morton.
For Maynard he led from barrier-to-post when winning the Esperance Cup (2000m) earlier in March.
He also ran second in the Geraldton Cup (2100m) and placed third in the Narrogin Cup (1900m).
Gold Broker received a major boost in the Kalgoorlie Cup when he drew perfectly in gate one.
Renowned for his on-speed pattern of racing and with veteran jockey Danny Miller aboard, Gold Broker is expected to go forward.
Resistance in finding the front is certain to come from Rive Gauche, in the hands of Kyra Yuill, who will work across from gate nine.
Maynard hosed down expectations of an early speed battle.
“Danny won’t be cutting any throats,” said Maynard.
“If there is nice pace and he is not pulling the horse doesn’t have to lead.
“I won’t be disappointed if he rolls along and gets a cart into the race.”
Maynard, a master conditioner of thoroughbreds, has Gold Broker approaching peak fitness after four runs this campaign.
Stepping up in distance at Belmont he ran third to Raising Dubai (2200m) and was runner-up behind boom gelding, Zarantz (2100m).
“He is fit and well and at his best,” said Maynard.
“He is on the way up while some of the others might be reaching the end of their preparations.”
Peter Hall will be hoping its third time lucky with the Adam Durrant-trained Gladstone.
Hall has ridden the gelding on two occasions and finished runner-up twice.
The most recent occasion was in last month’s Broome Cup (2200m).
Hall reclaims the ride after William Pike elected to take mounts at Belmont on Saturday.
Pike guided Gladstone to a narrow but impressive last-start victory over 2200m at Belmont.
Hall, who has won the Kalgoorlie Cup with Black Tom (2006) and Opening Twist (2001), gleefully accepted the Gladstone ride.
“It’s always a good opportunity when you are on an Adam Durrant horse,” said Hall.
“He is no superstar and the barrier is a concern.
“But the horse has blossomed since returning from Broome.”
In a field of 13 runners Gladstone has drawn barrier 10.
At $4.20 he holds joint Tabtouch favouritism with Red Blast.
Gold Broker has been specked from $19 into $14.