Bollywood Blitz ready for Coolgardie Cup
Craig Wright says a big effort or a win in tomorrow’s $100,000 Hahn Electrical Coolgardie Cup (1760m) will define whether Bollywood Blitz heads on towards the features of the Kalgoorlie Round.
The New Zealand-born trainer is hoping to claim a win with his first starter in the time-honoured Goldfields race.
Bollywood Blitz opened the joint second favourite on the WA TAB at $6 with Wayside behind the heavily backed favourite ($4.40 into $3.80) Falcon Crest.
Wright’s dream of winning the Cup moved a step closer when Bollywood Blitz drew ideally in gate four.
Bollywood Blitz has been the talk of the Goldfields since his dominant wins, when lumping 61.5kg and 61kg, to claim brilliant victories over 1400m and in The Goldrush (1600m) at his two Kalgoorlie starts back from a spell.
He plummets 4.5kg to 56.5 on the 61kg he carried in The Goldrush a fortnight ago.
Bollywood Blitz has won seven times (four at Kalgoorlie and three at Ascot) and been placed three times at 12 starts since Wright took over the gelding’s training last year.
Wright said the $100,000 Statewest Group Boulder Cup (2100m), on September 14, and the $120,000 Tabtouch Hannan’s Handicap (1400m) were still on the table, but a start in either race would hinge on Bollywood Blitz’s performance tomorrow.
Wright declared was going “super” in his lead up work.
“He doesn’t need a lot of work.” Wright said. “He is not a star on the track but is more of a tradesman.
“I have been lucky in that he has had a faultless preparation into the Coolgardie Cup.
“He does not need a lot of work and I just keep him at where he is happiest.
“He gets his chance from that draw to win, but in saying that there are probably another eight chances in the race.”
Top jockey Chris Parnham was engaged to ride Bollywood Blitz for the first time following a conference with his owners last Friday.
William Pike, who rode the son of Natural Blitz to four of his wins for Wright, was offered the ride, but turned it down to stick to the Grant and Alana Williams-trained Falcon Crest.
Pike has a strong affiliation with the Williams as the stable rider for the State’s leading owner-breeders Bob and Sandra Peters.
“It is hard to line up the form between Bollywood Blitz and the Perth runners because the latter have been racing on soft ground at Belmont Park and he has been racing on firm ground at Kalgoorlie,” Wright said.
“I am content to know that my bloke is going very well.
“Chris (Parnham) can ride his own race from that gate and the pace should be on with Gloryland lifting the tempo in front.”
Gloryland returns to the Goldfields with a brilliant win in the Broome Cup (2200m) on August 19.
He is back in the stables of Sean Casey after being prepared by Casey’s brother Dave to win the Broome Cup and the Cable Beach Caravan Park Cup (1800m) at Broome.
Sean Casey had trained Bollywood Blitz before he was transferred to Wright.
Gloryland’s Victorian-based owner Brian Durran won the 2015 Hannan’s Handicap with Royal Rada.
Casey won the 1995 Hannan’s Handicap with Broome Cup winner Chantes Path.
Connections chose to keep Broome Cup winning rider Simone Altieri on board despite being approached by several other jockeys to ride the $9.50 chance.
Gloryland was a $9 chance when finishing seventh to I’m Feeling Lucky in last year’s Coolgardie Cup.
“We thought that while he’s fit we would throw him into the Cup,” Casey said. “He has never really happy at Belmont Park where runners have taken him on for the lead.
“You don’t have to be a stayer to win the Broome Cup and winners like Chantes Path and Red Hannigan have shown that.
“He is not just a dirt horse and has won at Ascot, Kalgoorlie and Pinjarra.
“He dug deep to win the Broome Cup and he seems to have gone more forward.
“He doesn’t have to lead, but everybody is looking to him to take the front.
“We won’t fight for the lead if he is challenged as he can sit in a forward position if he needs to and still win.”
Jockey Shaun McGruddy looks to have great claims of a second win in the Cup riding Wayside for training partners Robbie and Todd Harvey.
McGruddy won the 2015 Cup on Western Blaze. Coincidently, Western Blaze and Wayside, were previously owned by Bob and Sandra Peters.
Wayside gave McGruddy a big double when he rode him to win the Geraldton Cup (2100m) a day after winning the Karrakatta Plate on Lucy Mae in April
Unfortunately McGruddy’s chances suffered a setback when the gelding drew 15.
Wayside has had excuses for his past two placings – when running third to Falcon Crest over 1400m and second to Properantes ($7) over 1600m at Belmont last month.
“He didn’t like being jammed up on the fence when he drew the inside and they went very slow last start,” McGruddy said.
“They usually go quick at Kalgoorlie and I am hoping I can get him into a nice position.
“He has no weight (54kg) and he is going better now than when he won the Geraldton Cup.”
The Coolgardie Cup boasts four reigning Cup winners with Pinjarra Cup (2300m) winner Dark Alert ($12 into $11) and Narrogin Cup (1900m) victor Pushin’ Shapes ($12) and Esperance Cup (2000m) champion On The Ropes ($91 into $81).
Trainer Martin Allan elected to bypass a 2000m handicap at Belmont today to run another former Peters’ owned galloper Astronomite ($9) in the Cup.
Astronomite’s connections paid $16,000 for the five-year-old at Peters’ dispersal sale in June and he has scored two wins and a third at his three starts at Belmont for his new owners.
Falcon Crest pulled up having struck his near hind fetlock after finishing eighth as a $3.60 favourite to Properantes at his last start over 1600m at Belmont on August 19.
Co-trainer Grant Williams reported Falcon Crest has recovered well from the start and he was not disappointed with his gelding’s effort because he ran the second fastest time (35.06sec) over the final 600m.
Team Williams are seeking to repeat Adam Durrant’s effort with Reverend Lovejoy and Inarticulate (2010-11) of consecutive Cup wins after I’m Feeling Lucky won last year.
Falcon Crest, who won first up over 1400m at Belmont on August 5, drops a half kilo to 58kg on his last start and drew in the centre in eight.
He was runner up in the Geraldton and Albany (2070m) cups at his last two starts last campaign in April.
Team Williams have a strong hand in the Cup also saddling the $9 chance Ripper Rio.