In the past 15 months veteran trainer Frank Maynard and his stayer Gold Broker have travelled thousands of kilometres in pursuit of WA Country Cups glory.
Their travelling odyssey commenced in March last year when they won the Esperance Cup, ran second in the Geraldton Cup and placed third in the Narrogin Cup.
The Albany Cup and Kalgoorlie Cup didn’t pan out as expected but it was nevertheless an otherwise consistent assault on Western Australia’s major country races.
The next target is 2000 kilometres north of Perth, with Maynard aiming Gold Broker for the $100,000 Broome Cup (2100m) on Saturday.
“I had been planning on coming back to Broome for many many years but I always had too many horses in work back at home,” said Maynard.
“But over the past five and a half years I have been semi-retired and after going to Esperance it was in my mind to head to up to Broome.
“The Broome Turf Club could not have looked after me any better and I’ve already booked a few boxes for next year.”
Maynard is revered as one of the state’s best horseman who has won a host of major Australian races during his long and illustrious career.
His list of stable stars is headed by champion stayer, Moss Kingdom, who was good enough to take out the Adelaide-Perth Cup double.
He also enjoys iconic status in his hometown, winning the Kalgoorlie Cup a record six times: Black Tom (2006), Signpost (1992), Zio Remus (1988), Call Me Kiwi (1987), Profile Lad (1985) and Makvaya (1974).
Maynard believes Gold Broker, who won the Listed Melvista Stakes (2200m) when previously under the guidance of Dan Morton, in 2013, can give him his first Broome Cup triumph.
“He is the ideal horse to bring up to Broome as he races up on the pace,” said Maynard.
“I don’t think you need a real top horse but you need one who is sound and can race on speed.
Gold Broker has handled the transition to Broome’s red dirt with aplomb and could easily be undefeated from his two starts.
He held out Desert Glow to win the Kimberley Cup (2020m) and ran second to Galaxon in the Contracting Cup (1800m) when first up.
Maynard said he was sweating on a favourable draw for Gold Broker in the Broome Cup.
“They always go hard early in the Cup and ideally he can settle just off them in a nice position,” said Maynard.
“If he can get a soft run without doing too much work in running he will have the strength to finish off the race.
“If it goes the other way and he is forced to work hard or is trapped wide in running he won’t be strong at the end.”