TRAINER Jan Bowen is confident that if Fireball can produce his best form he will win Sunday’s $25,000 Bengalla Cup (1280m) at Muswellbrook.
However, she admits she is searching for answers with the six-year-old which has managed only one third from four starts this preparation.
Fireball, with five city placings to his credit and with all but one of those in Sydney Saturday company, is one of the class runners in the field.
He also has an outstanding record at Muswellbrook with four wins and two placings from seven starts.
“He has been disappointing this preparation and I don’t know why,” Bowen said.
“I know the horse has still got it but it is a matter of trying to get him back to his best.
“He is a male and we all know they can be hard to work out at times, so I am doing a bit of experimenting with him.”
Fireball resumed with a third at Muswellbrook behind Hot Hit in mid-June and his three starts since have produced a ninth, an eighth and a fourth at Rosehill, Randwick and Warwick Farm.
The state’s premier country trainer for the past two seasons, Luke Griffith, will have a number of runners including last start winner Double Halo in the Bengalla Cup and new stable addition, Modest Hero, in the 2MM Power FM Benchmark 60 (2300m).
Double Halo returned to form with a win at Warren late last month and Griffith is hoping he can get the same conditions on Sunday.
“There was good speed on, which is what he likes, and he finished the race off nicely,” he said.
“Some good speed on Sunday will certainly help him.”
Modest Hero has had one run for Griffith for a win over 2400 metres, also at Warren.
“I had only had the horse for a week but he was fit and the opposition was not all that strong,” he said.
“The horse is rock hard fit now and I have just kept him ticking over.
“His new owner, Wayne Brown, has set up a spelling and pre-training farm called Retreat Farm and he has a new water walker and Modest Hero has been spending a fair bit of time in it.
“It’s a great spot and most of my horses go there for a few days after they race.”
Sunday’s meeting, apart from racing, will also feature Fashions on the Field, Silks Markets, wildlife displays, children’s entertainment and Sacredgoove Belly and Zumba performances.
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