Pinjarra trainer Brett Pope is happy to kick start Divine Shadow’s campaign in Kalgoorlie and expects a competitive performance on his return.
Pope has fond memories of Divine Shadow’s Goldfield’s campaign last year where he showed his prowess in three of Kalgoorlie’s biggest races.
The Blackfriars gelding ran third in the Coolgardie Cup (1760m) and then finished second in the Boulder Cup (2105m) and Kalgoorlie Cup (2200m) respectively.
Following an identical path to 12-months ago, Divine Shadow launches the first leg of Kalgoorlie’s rich feature treble in Sunday’s Hahn Electrical Coolgardie Cup.
“He’ll be fit enough to win first-up, but the Kalgoorlie Cup is his main target,” Pope told The Races WA.
“I’m a little worried that a couple of the lightweights might get him first up.
“Kalgoorlie was the making of him last year and after being gelded he turned the corner.
“He’ll be competitive, improve in the Boulder Cup and be at his peak for the Kalgoorlie Cup.”
Divine Shadow carries 59.5kg for Steven Parnham and has drawn barrier nine.
Parnham is back on the six-year-old after combining for a 3 ¾ length Pinjarra Cup (2300m) victory last April.
Divine Shadow, who has not raced since April, rounded out his preparations with two trials.
Pope said if Divine Shadow raced to expectation and came close to replicating last year’s Kalgoorlie form, he will progress to the Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot.
“We might have to lift the bar and go that way,” Pope said.
“We might even take him over east, not for the elite races, but some of the country cups.
“There are a few more options open to us.”
Peter Fernie will look to maintain local pride when he saddles up Cuban Twist, Magic Will Reign and Pink And Purple, all on the 54kg minimum.
Pink And Purple, with William Pike aboard, won the Tattersalls Cup (1600m) last start, capping a winning hat trick.