NO LAUGHING MATTER FOR MCGRUDDY IN NORTHAM CUP

21
Oct

It’s a pick-up ride and one that Shaun McGruddy hopes he can convert into a winning one when he partners That’s Funny Az in Sunday’s Listed Iron Jack Northam Cup (1600m).

That’s Funny Az is McGruddy’s sole ride for the meeting, but he says there are two key reasons why he was swayed to accept the mount on the five-year-old.

“I think he is a lightweight chance with 54kg,” McGruddy told The Races WA.

“I have to get down to that weight, but you do it for the good ones.

“I think stepping up to the mile is also a positive.

“There are a couple of smart horses that he has to overcome, but absolutely, I think he’s a chance of winning it.”

That’s Funny Az, prepared by Dion Luciani, has drawn barrier nine in a field of 13 starters.

McGruddy said his tactics on the Snippetson gelding will be clear.

“I’ll be trying to find the fence and lead,” McGruddy said.

“I want to be able to use and take advantage of his stride.

“He races best and has a very good record when leading.

“I’ll be in front of them and hopefully they don’t go past me.”

That’s Funny Az, nearing half a million dollars in prizemoney and bonuses, celebrated a purple patch of form earlier in the year.

He won four straight races at Pinjarra and Ascot and didn’t finish further back than fourth in a seven start campaign.

He made the perfect start on his resumption in August when he led from barrier to post to win the Ngawyni Stakes (1400m).

Last-start in the Hannans (1400m) at Kalgoorlie he hung inwards in the straight and finished two lengths third to Startthefriar.

In an open Northam Cup market, Tabtouch has That’s Funny Az at $9.50.

Kaptain Kaos has been installed the $4.20 favourite.

“I think Kaptain Kaos and Tellem We’re Comin will be hard to beat,” McGruddy said.

“You can’t also dismiss Marocchino and Royal Command.”

Marocchino is rated a $26 hope. Royal Command is $6 and shares the third line of betting with Tellem We’re Comin.

Meanwhile at Ascot on Saturday, McGruddy reunites with Ex Sport Man in the Listed Belgravia Stakes (1200m).

He says last season’s champion two-year-old may find the 60kg topweight and 1200m a tough hurdle to overcome first up.

“He might be out of his depth in this one,” McGruddy said.

“He’ll be better suit at set weights in the WA Guineas (1600m).

“If he could run home in the first half of the field I will be delighted.”

Julio Santarelli