After finishing runner-up with Grand Nearctic in last year’s Orange Cup, Dubbo trainer Terry Fahey hatched a plan to return victorious.
On Sunday Fahey, known as the Redfern Express during his blockbusting rugby league career, saddles up five-year-old Snowy On The Tram in the $20,000 Orange Cup (2100m) with Mathew Cahill aboard.
Grand Nearctic, one of Fahey’s favourite horses and his first Cup runner, was beaten 1-1/2 lengths by Granite Bluff in 2010.
“The old champ (Grand Nearctic) did us proud. I decided there and then I’d try and find another horse to come back and hopefully win it this time,” Fahey said.
Snowy On The Tram fits the bill.
The Filante gelding has a particular liking for Orange with a win and second in two starts, notably scoring over the track and distance four starts back on January 24.
Fahey said Snowy On The Tram, owned by Dubbo-raised plumber Adam Dawson who now lives in Sydney, had been going pretty good.
“After Orange he won again at Wellington (over 1700m on February 14), I backed him up quickly (six days) at Bathurst,” he said.
“The win at Wellington took more out of him than I thought.
“I chucked him in the paddock for two weeks to freshen him up and he went around in the Wellington Cup (March 27) to get him right for Orange.
“He was 16 lengths off them down the back at Wellington and only beaten 5-1/4 lengths. I was happy with the run.
“I know he can stay and we might make it a staying test on Sunday.
“In recent times he’s responded better to a lighter preparation, I don’t train him as hard.
“I like training stayers. It’s only a small field (six) and he does have enough pace to be handy if needed.
“The barrier (five) will suit him, don’t like him on the inside of horses.
“He likes the track and distance and Mathew has won two from four on him. Hopefully it’s three from five come Sunday.”
Cahill described Snowy On The Tram as a good, tough stayer.
“It’s not a vintage field. If the horse turns up fit and well and runs up to his Orange win, he’s in the race up to his ears,” he said.