Trainers set sights on city cup

A smart win by Montaya in a recent Mixed Stake (512 metres) at Tara Raceway has Mortlake trainer Peter Franklin now seriously looking at the forthcoming Mount Gambier Cup (512 m).

Montaya, who won her first two races back in December 2019 at the local track, is a daughter of Barcia Bale x Blonde Caviar and a half-sister to Franklin’s former smart stayer McIvor Verna who at one time held the 600 metres track record.

In addition, he trained two other Tara Raceway former track record holders in Ireland’s Oyster (400 m) and Mojito Mayhem (512 m) who also won the 2016 Mount Gambier Cup when defeating Danyo’s Frank in 29.83 seconds.

While Montaya probably falls a bit short of Mojito Mayhem in terms of ability, she did look pretty good at the end of last month when defeating My Attitude by 71⁄2 lengths in 29.79 seconds.

Franklin was back last Sunday with the black bitch, taking on some handy types including Saint Maddie, Golly Gumdrops and Saint Rock in a heat of the Michelle Niele Memorial Dual Distance Challenge (512 m).

Spring Value, who also opened his winning account at Tara Raceway back in 2019, also contested a heat of the memorial on the back of a slick 29.72 seconds win over 512 metres on February 21.

He’s another one likely to be set for next month’s Mount Gambier Cup, his Killarney trainer Kevin Mugavin having previously won the time-honoured event with Poetic Magic in 2006 and again in 2012 with Rich Shiraz.

Meanwhile, Silent Jacko returned to the winner’s list at last Thursday’s Tara Raceway time-graded meeting for the first time since winning the 2020 belated Mount Gambier Cup Consolation (512 m) at the end of August.

In fact, the son of Kinloch Brae and Bonnie’s Secret had raced on only one occasion since then before resuming over 400 metres for original trainer David Peckham of Allendale East at Tara Raceway on February 25.

Raced by the Nineofus Syndicate, Silent Jacko, according to Peckham, had trialled well leading into this race but after an early check the brindle dog was never in the race.

But it was a different story last Thursday when he stepped up in distance to 512 metres and led all the way to defeat Yellow And Black by 71⁄2 lengths in 29.70 seconds and bring up his 20th win.

Such was the dominance of the win that Peckham is now looking at another Mount Gambier Cup with Silent Jacko. And that’s something he probably would not have been contemplating before the running of the race.

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