Henley's pearl set for South Cup showdown
SOUTH CUP: There is a quiet confidence about Scott Henley when he talks about enigmatic galloper Baroque Girl. From the moment she stepped foot in the Henley yard it was match made.
When she stormed over the top of the field in her first start for the stable back in May, Henley knew then a $50,000 Grafton Toyota South Grafton Cup (1610m) was on the mare's horizon.
"The South Grafton Cup has always been the plan, everything has worked out nearly to the day,” he said.
"We are spot on, her blood count is perfect, her fitness is spot on, she is perfect and beaming ready to go.”
The four-year-old Sebring mare is coming off the back of a good showing among listed company in the Gai Waterhouse Classic (1350m) last start which the trainer believes has prepared her perfectly for tomorrow's cup.
"I could have gone to Brisbane on a midweek to a Class 4 and had an easy kill but she would not be where she is today,” he said. "The idea was to toughen her up mentally and physically.”
Baroque Girl is expected to jump from gate nine and will carry 54kg into the Cup. It will be the first time Grafton jockey Matt McGuren has ridden at 54kg since he took Henley's Hotel Drive around in a Class 2 on Ramornie Day two years ago.
"54 kilos is good for her, probably no good for Matty but he will just have to do it tough to get there,” he said.
"Any time he wants to ride anything in the stable he is on it. Any jockey that can ride over 100 winners two years in a row is pretty good in my book but he is a good bloke to go with it.”
Henley is confident he can win a home town Cup but needs to fend off topweight Shannon Fry-trained Sofin.
Wyong-trained Mr Mcbat could also pose a problem out of barrier six as he aims to bounce back from a tough start in the Wauchope Cup.