Trainer Emma Longmire has Defy ready to run well in the Fred Cooper Cup

Emma and Lucy Longmire are cautiously optimistic Defy can cause an upset in the feature race the trainers sponsor on their home track of Goulburn on Friday.

Defy is rated a $19 chance in TAB Fixed Odds betting for the Twinstar Racing Fred Cooper Cup (1600m).

But Defy’s chances could soar if hot favourite Knight is saved for Saturday’s Sky Racing Active Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick.

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Knight, a winner of three of his seven starts including his game effort to score at Gosford two weeks ago, is the $1.40 favourite to win at Goulburn and at $11 for the Randwick race which carries almost $100,000 more prizemoney.

Trainer Kim Waugh is keeping a close on the weather before deciding where Knight will run. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Trainer Kim Waugh admitted where Knight races next is largely dependent on track conditions with Goulburn rated a heavy 8 and Randwick a soft 6.

“I’m monitoring the weather,’’ Waugh said. “He’s a tough horse, he tries very hard but I think he is better on a firmer track.’’

If Waugh does reserve Knight for Randwick, it will certainly boosts the chances of Defy winning at Goulburn for the Longmire sisters.

Defy has a lowly 58 rating compared to his more accomplished rivals including Spunlago (93), Pirate Ben (84), Animalia (81) and Knight (76).

But trainer Emma Longmire said Defy can run a competitive race provided the track conditions continue to improve.

“If we get a heavy 8 or worse, Defy won’t run,’’ Longmire said. “He gets through a soft track all right but not the heavy.’’

The Longmire stable also has Zarafah ($7) and Judicator ($19) clashing in the Goulburn opener, the Class 1 and Maiden Plate (2100m).

Zarafah indicated she is close to a win after a very good fourth behind Eva’s Deel in a Class 3 TAB Highway at Randwick and Judicator has been improved by four runs back from a spell.

Jean Van Overmeire will ride Defy for Emma and Lucy Longmire. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

“We do expect Zarafah to run well, she’s in such good form,’’ Longmire said.

“She is having a super preparation, even racing out of her grade as she did last start, but she is in her right grade of race at Goulburn. The wet track won’t bother her, either.’’

Judicator is a new recruit for the Longmire twins and although the gelding has been unplaced in each of his four starts for the stable, he is finally getting out to his preferred distance range.

“We are still getting to know Judicator, he is in his first preparation with us,’’ Longmire said.

“But we have really liked what we have seen from him at trackwork when he gets out over ground as he gets into a really nice rhythm. This is the first time we have stepped him up in distance for a race.’’

The Longmires also have Designer Dance entered for the TAB Highway Class 2 Handicap (1300m) at Saturday’s Randwick meeting.

Designer Dance, who has finished strongly for consecutive thirds at Gunnedah and Nowra, is good value at $16 in betting behind $4.40 favourite Moyassar.

“If Randwick is a soft track or better, then Designer Dance is right in it,’’ Longmire said.

“She is racing in good form, she is in a good place at the moment.’’

SHAMANI SET FOR DESERVED WIN

Shamani’s eventful debut race preparation can reap the rewards for perseverance with a win in the Class 1 and Maiden Plate (1200m) at Goulburn on Friday.

Trainers Richard and Michael Freedman revealed they could easily have sent Shamani for a spell weeks ago after the mare contracted a virus.

“She had a long preparation just to get to her first race start at Kembla Grange (third, October 10),’’ Richard Freedman said.

“But then she got crook after her first run so we had to give her more time between first and second runs.

“So I don’t think we will go on too much with her but we are very happy with the mare going into this race. She should be able to get the prize.’’

Shamani did win her second start over 1600m at Wyong then chased home Margie Bee on the same track last week which is strong form for the Goulburn race.

Trainer Richard Freedman is confident Shamani can record a deserved win at Goulburn on Friday. Photo: Simon Bullard/AAP ImageSource:AAP

Understandably, TAB Fixed Odds price assessors aren’t taking any risks with the Freedman-trained mare who is $2.15 favourite to win the Goulburn opener.

The Freedman stables is also represented by Screebe ($2.90) and first starter Invincible Jewel ($12) in the Fillies and Mares Maiden (1200m), and I Am Fearless ($12) makes his debut in the closer, a Maiden Plate (1200m).

Screebe, who chased home Belieber on debut at Wyong then ran fourth at Gosford, is challenging the Mark Newnham-trained Jolie’s Choice ($2.30) for favouritism.

“The form around Screebe is strong,’’ Freedman said.

“But she didn’t do anything right at Gosford so the bigger track at Goulburn will suit her. We do think she should be able to go down and go very close to winning.

“Invincible Jewel has had three trials, she’s had a good base and is ready to go to the races so hopefully she will run well.’’

Freedman admitted I Am Fearless, a three-year-old colt by champion sire I Am Invincible, has been a “work in progress”.

English jockey Leonna Mayor is on fire after making the switch from the saddle to a television studio in a boom time for women in racing….

English jockey Leonna Mayor is on fire after making the switch from the saddle to a television studio in a boom time for women in racing.

“He was a very naughty boy early on and nearly had to be re-broken,’’ Freedman said.

“But he has come a long way, he’s nice and tractable, doing everything right now and will be competitive.

“He might still be a bit green because he’s a bit of a panicker. He will get down there and it will all be a bit new to him but I’m glad we are taking him to a nice big track like Goulburn for his first race start.’’

Originally published asGoulburn preview: Longmire’s gelding can Defy his rivals

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