Coffs Harbour trainer Warren Gavenlock will give his stable star Plonka one more run this time in after he came through the Country Championships Final in great order.
The Epaulette five-year-old ran a gritty sixth behind Art Cadeau in the $500,000 race after getting a tough run in transit.
“If we drew a gate I think we would’ve run second. Nothing came up underneath us which we hoped would so we could get a tuck in behind,” Gavenlock said.
“He was gutsy to fight back and stay there as long as he did.”
Plonka will only be having his 20th start later this week and he has plenty of zest for racing after having five runs this time in.
“He pulled up the best he’s ever pulled up,” Gavenlock said.
“I’ll nominate him for the Tamworth Cup (1400m) on Friday. We’ll see where we draw and we won’t run him if we don’t have the right rider.
“If we don’t run him there we’ll run him in a Benchmark 78 race on the Hawkesbury stand alone day.”
The big goal for Plonka in 2021 though will come in October when the $1.3 million Kosciuszko (1200m) is run at Randwick.
“That’s the plan,” Gavenlock said.
Gavenlock is confident Plonka will be picked to run in the race but he is keen to get his horse another big race win which would definitely lock him in for a run in the race.
Today at Coffs Harbour, Gavenlock has a very good chance of winning again with Saintly Sunrise.
The five-year-old grey lines up in a Class 3 Handicap (1615m) after winning at his home track last start over 1415m.
Gavenlock expects Matthew McGuren to ride Saintly Sunrise similar to the way he did last time even though he’s got a good gate again with barrier four.
“He’s drawn well but it doesn’t matter with him because he gets himself out the back door,” Gavenlock said.
“He likes his home track. He’ll handle the sting out of the track and hopefully he can do the same thing he did last start, that’s the plan.
“He should run 2000m but the mile is as far as he needs to go. I’m happy to have him in the race against a small field with a good rider.”
Saintly Sunrise’s last start victory was only his second in 20 starts but he is becoming more genuine as his career goes on.
He placed at his previous two runs and is thriving in the stable and none of his rivals today have won at their past two starts so he’s the one in the best form.
“I think we’ve placed him pretty well. There hasn’t been a better preparation for a horse that’s only won one race. He’s been placed a lot and you’d like every horse in your stable to do that,” Gavenlock said.
“I can’t see any reason why he can’t reproduce what he’s already done.”
Originally published asPlonka to keep the show going
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