Big boy is back and targeting Grafton Cup
By TONY WHITE
THE big fella's back.
Giant gelding Concitare resumes at the Grafton TAB meeting today in the LJ Hooker Grafton ? Australia Day Open Hcp over 1200m.
And six months out from the July Racing Carnival, trainer Bruce Swan is again targeting the $175,000 Grafton Cup for the 630kg plus bohemoth that stands a tick over 18 hands.
Last year's tragedy when Swan incredibly forgot to nominate Concitare on the eve of the July feature was heartbreaking.
"There will be plenty of people wanting to nominate him this year," Swan chuckled. "While far from planned, sometimes things happen for a reason. Fortunately we were able to win the Coffs Harbour Cup."
Concitare hasn't raced for 128 days since finishing 6th to Serpentine in the Lismore Cup on September 22 last year.
"He spelled really well, terrific," Swan said. "He's really well, all's perfect.
"He's probably only 75 to 80 per cent there but you've got to start somewhere.
"The 1200 metres will be too short. I just want to see him running on and hitting the line."
Swan has a long campaign planned for Concirtare, the Graf- ton Cup the gelding's pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
"I'm going to bring him up steady," Swan confirmed. "He'll have a couple of runs here (Grafton) over sprint distances then we'll probably poke up to Brisbane. There are a couple of nice Cup races for him up there and if he shows he's up to them and holding form, the Grafton Cup is on the agenda."
Swan added a foot problem, stone bruise, which hindered Concitare's last campaign, had completely heeled.
As a six-year-old with 44 starts, Concitare is showing no signs of slowing down.
"Just the opposite," Swan said. "The horse is really well within himself.
"He seems a lot more alert, brighter. He's done really well. He's been playing on the walker (machine) and you'd swear he's gone back a couple of years."