CHANGE OF LUCK: Primed To Win scores by a half length from Winning Review in the 2014 Maclean Cup at Clarence River Jockey Club, ridden by Matthew Paget. PHOTO: DEBRAH NOVAK
CHANGE OF LUCK: Primed To Win scores by a half length from Winning Review in the 2014 Maclean Cup at Clarence River Jockey Club, ridden by Matthew Paget. PHOTO: DEBRAH NOVAK

Primed to win a cup double

A WINNING performance in the $25,000 Tarraray Sawtell Cup (1500m) at Coffs Harbour would propel the Felicity Firth-trained Primed To Win into front-line contention for Thursday week's $80,000 Coffs Harbour Cup.

And while Grafton-based Firth is more than happy with the progress and wellbeing of her up-and-coming four-year-old, she is far from happy with the gelding's weight - 57kg.

"He's terribly weighted," Firth said steadfastly. "It's ridiculous.

"He's a Class 4 horse in an open handicap. If it was up to me, he wouldn't be running but we've got to run to have him right for the Coffs Harbour Cup. That's the aim."

Firth's major bone of contention is Primed To Win has gone up some 15 ratings points this campaign.

"That's a hell of a lot in one preparation," she suggested. "I just hope the handicappers are right."

In fairness, with a rating of 78 - regardless of Firth's line of thinking - Primed To Win is the second-highest rated horse behind Single Spirit (80 rating) and couldn't have expected much less under the current system.

While those immediately under Primed To Win in the weights have more race victories to their name, under the ratings system, Primed To Win was always going to concede weight to many of his rivals.

The gelding, raced by a syndicate headed by Firth's sister Dianna Ball, has been in great form of late.

After an unlucky 1.9-lengths fourth to Myamira in the South Grafton Cup (1600m) at Grafton on July 6, Primed To Win scored a half-length win in a 1400m open handicap, the Maclean Cup, at Grafton on July 13 when he carried 54kg.

"He was unlucky in the South Cup. He should have nearly won," Firth maintained. "Matthew (Paget) went to come out off the fence on the home turn but he got held in a pocket and didn't really get out until the 200m. He finished his race off very well.

The cup looks a dress rehearsal for the 1600m Coffs Harbour Cup on August 7, with many of Primed To Win's rivals heading in the samedirection.



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