It has been 15 years since Tim Martin’s last crack at winning a Dubbo Cup and on Sunday he gets another opportunity to snare the feature race with Mapmaker.
The astute Sydney trainer has had his eye on the Dubbo City Toyota Gold Cup for some time believing the $60,000 race is well within reach of the in-form galloper.
“It’s hard to win these races with big weights but he has been set for it and his form reads well,” Martin said, Greg Ryan to ride Mapmaker with 61kg.
“He isn’t a kid’s horse so having Greg on is a bonus as he knows the Dubbo track so well.
“Mapmaker ran second in the Tamworth Cup and his runs in Sydney for me have been very good.”
Martin started Johnny Reb in the 2002 Dubbo Cup finishing fifth and has always been keen to claim the Dubbo Cup which highlights a program that also includes the Showcase Picnic Championship Final.
Another trainer with eyes on Sunday’s main prize is Wagga’s Peter Morgan.
Last year’s Dubbo feature didn’t go to plan for Morgan and Zarlu when the gelding finished ninth.
Zarlu is now enjoying one of the best preparations of his career and hasn’t finished outside the top three in his last three starts.
“He’s going really well at the moment,” Morgan told Racing NSW.
“He does plenty of work, he’s a tough fella. We haven’t done anything out of the ordinary with him but we are happy with where he is at.”
Zarlu was impressive last time out on his home. Lumping 62kg, he flew home from the back of the field to pinch the 1600m Benchmark 65 Handicap from Hangin’ With Willy, who won next start.
“That was a very good effort to beat them carrying that much weight,” Morgan said.
“He won’t know himself on Sunday with only 55kg.”
The $60,000 Gold Cup (1600m) headlines Sunday’s meeting with Martin and Morgan among the visitors taking on hometown hopes Stephen Edwards, Justin Stanley and Clint Lundholm.
The $50,000 final of the inaugural Picnic Championship and the $40,000 Flying Handicap will also feature in the showcase meeting.
The Gold Cup jumps at 4.42pm.