Restrepo streets his rivals in last year's Hamilton Pacing Cup.
Reigning Matthews Petroleum Hamilton Pacing Cup winning trainer Emma Stewart has a double shot at the title this Sunday.
The Smythes Creek star will line up two runners in the $30,575, 2660-metre Group 3 feature – part of the Road to Glory ahead of the TAB.com.au Summer of Glory – with Jadahson and Presidentialsecret both taking winning form into the race.
Both horses have won two races on the trot with leading reinsmen Chris Alford (Jadahson) and Nathan Jack (Presidentialsecret) to drive the pair.
Asked if either horse could replicate Restrepo’s record-breaking Hamilton Cup procession last year, Stewart’s response was obviously predictable. “I don’t think so!”
“They might be able to win it but they won’t be able to do what he did.”
Jadahson is drawn barrier three on Sunday for three-time Hamilton Cup winning driver Alford (Justa Jomahl 1992, Earlsplace Ego 2003 and Lady Lisa 2004) and Stewart is hopeful he can step well and set the tempo to suit himself.
“As long as he brings his manners he’s in good form,” Stewart said.
On Presidentialsecret Stewart said: “He has a tricky draw (barrier eight) but he’s going well.”
One of Stewart’s Victoria Derby bound three-year-olds, Kingofthestars, has the extreme draw in Race 2, the Western District Employment Agency 3YO Pace over 2160m for reinsman Jack.
“He’s a lovely horse. He won well last week and he’ll be targeted towards the Derby,” the trainer confirmed.
A key challenger in cup markets on Sunday will hail from the Matthew Craven stable in Desdon Murruffy, a last-start Melton M1-M2 winner in 1:56.2 (last half 55secs) over 2240m.
The Craven team has been flying of late, winning 13 races between December 1 and January 14 – including seven wins between January 1 and January 14.
Craven said Desdon Murruffy was a good each-way chance in the cup but was a “take on trust” proposition at the stand start.
“The key to his chances are he’s got to get away,” Craven said. “He completely bombed his first go at the standing start and at home he’s hit and miss. He’s in terrific form though.”
A horse that is no stranger to the Hamilton track is polemarker Arber, who has lined up in the Cup three times for a second in 2012, third in 2013 and eighth in 2014.
In-form The Majority makes the trek across from Tasmania for the Cup, former local driver turned Tassie star Mark Yole also returning home for the day to pilot the Matthew Dwyer trained six-year-old, who has run 1-2 seven times out of nine from behind the tapes.
Local trainer Kevin Brough, who won the Cup in 1997 with Chase A Rainbow, has Weallwantano lining up from barrier four for reinsman Chris Svanosio.
Weallwantano finished down the track last time out at Melton but won there three starts back over Charlie Machsheen, who has barrier five on Sunday for trainer/driver Craig Demmler.
Geoff Webster and Emmett Brosnan will combine with five-year-old Ideal Majority in the Cup, drawn seven, while Lara's Dean Braun has two key chances in Macho Comacho (barrier nine) and the high-class stayer Im Corzin Terror off 20 metres for top driver Greg Sugars.
Im Corzin Terror ran on well in both the Geelong and Horsham Cups leading into Sunday and is ready to win.
Alongside Im Corzin Terror on the back mark is the lightning quick Keayang Cullen, who won the Ballarat Lightning Mile two starts back in 1:53.3.
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