Anne King chasing glory with Already Famous
Warhorse Already Famous can become the first stayer since Lawmaker in 2002 to win Kalgoorlie’s famous Cups double in the same season, when he runs in Sunday’s $130,000 XXXX Gold Kalgoorlie Cup (2300m).
Already Famous claimed the first leg of the lucrative double when he held-out a fast-finishing Shinta Mani in last Sunday’s Boulder Cup (2100m). Lawmaker was the last horse to win the Cups treble of the Coolgardie, Boulder and Kalgoorlie cups.
The story behind Already Famous’ rise to fame is an intriguing rags-to-riches one.
Hannan’s Handicap winning trainer Adam Durrant told the seven-year-old’s owners the gelding was not up to city class, after he was unplaced at his first three starts in maidens at Pinjarra.
He was leased to trainer Anne King to take to Port Hedland to race in 2013.
Kim Loxton and Yarradale Stud proprietor Ron Sayers had owned Already Famous’ dam Roaster, but she was also was dud on the racetrack, with her best effort at four starts finishing fourth –beaten 5 ¼ lengths at York.
Roaster was given to Loxton's daughter Holly but she proved a lousy hack dumping Holly so many times that she decided to breed from the daughter of Regal Classic from the Lunchtime mare Flutes.
Roaster did not shine at stud either, producing one winner from her first five foals, before foaling Already Famous, who has now earned $414,812 from his eight wins and 20 placings at 55 starts.
He awarded the Loxton family their fourth Boulder Cup last week after Reverend Lovejoy (2009-11) and Space Age (2002).
“He couldn’t run a place in three maidens so we leased him to Anne to take to Port Hedland,” the Kalgoorlie-born Kim Loxton said.
“I had a liking for Lunchtime mares when I bought Roaster at an interstate yearling sale.
“She was a cheapie and Ron came into partnership with me.
“But she was an absolute camel.
“Because she was a lovely big mare we gave her to Holly, but she kept dumping her.
“Holly was the one who decided to breed from her. I think her first foal fetched $30,000 at the yearling sale but he was no good and ended up racing first in Singapore and then in Malaysia.
“Holly retired Roaster last year after she kept slipping each year.
“Already Famous has got me stuffed because he must have inherited all of the ability, as everything else Roaster threw were goats.”
Loxton has owned Kalgoorlie Cup runners-up Instrumental (1993) and Irish Rort (1996), but a win has so far eluded him.
“I was in China when Already Famous won the Boulder Cup and only got just got back,” Loxton said. “I have a busy weekend of work so can’t be at Kalgoorlie, but it would mean the world to me and my family for him to win.”
Tabtouch opened Already Famous at $5 behind Dark Alert ($4.80 to $5) and Shinta Mani ($3.20 into $3) on Thursday.
King, who claimed her first city feature with Miki Two Toes in the Farnley Stakes a fortnight ago, is chasing her first Kalgoorlie Cup win.
Already Famous was penalized two kilos for his Boulder Cup victory and is the second top-weight on 56.5kg.
He meets Shinta Mani (55.5kg) a kilo worse on beating her by a short half-head.
Shinta Mani’s trainer Sharon Miller was the first woman to win the Kalgoorlie Cup with Powerful Prince in 1996. Proconteur gave the Lark Hill trainer her second Cup in 1999.
Women have since played dominant roles in the Cup with Fay Harding winning with Opening Twist in 2001, Ruth Banner with Lawmaker in 2002, Justine Erkelens with Action Pak in 2008 and Helen Starley with Sunrange in 2010.
Shinta Mani and Danehills Daughter ($5.50) are the only mares in the 13-horse field.
A win or a dead-heat by the two mares would end a long drought for the fairer sex, with La Belle Russe being the last mare to win a Cup in 1994.
Miller, who has won three Hannan’s Handicaps with Ellicorsam (2004), Wire Detonator (2005) and Sireeze (2014), has stuck to tradition and kept Shinta Mani in Kalgoorlie.
Shinta Mani was one of the big runs of the Boulder Cup, when tramping three deep on the corner to power home to just miss catching Already Famous, who scooted away at the top of the straight.
“It was a huge run by her,” Miller said. “She has done really well up here.
“I have not done a lot with her because she is such a hot-head at the track.
“She really keeps herself fit and does not need a lot of work.”
Premier jockey William Pike is chasing the Hannan’s-Kalgoorlie Cup double on Shinta Mani, after his win on Disposition on Wednesday.
The Kalgoorlie Cup is one of the few highlights on the WA racing calendar Pike has yet to add to his mantle.
Trainer Steve Rowe heads into the Cup full of confidence that Danehills Daughter can stretch her winning streak to five straight wins.
Danehills Daughter has been in blistering form at Belmont claiming wins over 2100m (twice), 2200m and 2000m.
Rowe won the Coolgardie Cup with Barnsley Lad in 2013. The horse was runner-up to Fanicio as a $2.30 favourite in the Boulder Cup in the same year.
Co-trainers Robbie and Todd Harvey have been happy with the Cup preparation of Wayside ($10 to $16).
Wayside had a torrid run when he was trapped deep throughout before finishing 12th in the Coolgardie Cup (1760m) on September 3.
The father and son combination like to space Wayside’s starts. He won the Geraldton Cup (2100m) off a three-week break last April.
Wayside won last year’s Carnarvon Cup (2000m) and if successful in the Kalgoorlie Cup could be the first horse to complete the treble.
Wayside came through his past two gallops at Belmont Park in sparkling fashion.
“He galloped at Belmont last Saturday and Tuesday,” Todd Harvey said. “He went really well and we are very pleased with him.
“He had a very hard run last start and he finished off okay considering the work he had to do.
“It was disappointing to draw 13 and he is going to need a bit of luck from there.
“He has never been over 2300m, but he has won over 2100m and he is out of a Sadler’s Wells mare, so I don’t think it is an issue.”
Dark Alert will be searching for his second win over 2300m after claiming the Pinjarra Cup at his penultimate start for co-trainers Geoff Durrant and Jason Miller in April.
Dark Alert, who ran a strong fifth (1.25lens) at $18 in the Boulder Cup, will have to repeat Cougar Express’ effort of last year and lump 59kg to victory.
Jockey Jarrad Noske is out to follow in the footsteps of his father Jeff and sister Jerry, who rode Cup winners Lawmaker and Woodsville (2015). Jeff trained Woodsville.
The heaviest weight carried to win the Cup was Mallant with 59.5kg in 1957.
Dark Alert was the most expensive at $70,000 of 12 lots sold by Bob and Sandra Peters at their dispersal sale at Belmont on June 28.
Trainer Joe Miller trained Mt Henry to win the 1998 Boulder and 1999 Geraldton cups. The gelding, who had a club foot, ran third in the 1999 Kalgoorlie Cup.
Leading Kalgoorlie trainer Peter Fernie is hoping for a change of luck with Someday One Day ($21 into $16).
Someday One Day looks the best chance of Fernie’s three-pronged attack, also saddling Black Moment ($91) and On The Ropes ($126).
Someday One Day raced without luck, but finished strongly to run third (.75lens) and sixth (2lens) in the Coolgardie and Boulder cups.
Fernie, who won the 2014 Cup with True Gold, has booked Daniel Staeck to replace Lucy Warwick, who rides Charlestown ($8) for her father Justine.
Staeck is chasing a fifth win in the Cup after wins on Lopov (2012), Kincaple (2011), Gondorff (2009) and Priceless Matt (2005).
He is still short of Frank Treen’s record of six wins on Portage (1949), Beau Temps (1951), Elmsfield (1954), Maranalgo (1961), Best Boots (1966) and Star Of The Desert (1969).