There is an adage in racing that you should not be scared off by one horse, but the presence of Tuvalu in a race at Warrnambool has forced Lindsay Park into a change of plans.
Fundraiser was down to run in the Port Fairy Cup (1400m) at Warrnambool on Thursday, but the presence of Tuvalu, twice second to Group 1 winner I’m Thunderstruck, in the race saw Ben and Jd Hayes elect to run in the Mirasan Hand Sanitiser Handicap (1500m) at The Valley on Saturday instead.
If successful on Saturday, first prize of $71,500 will more than compensate the connections of Fundraiser missing out on the $22,000 first prize money and the $20,000 VOBIS Gold bonus money.
But Fundraiser is part-owned by McKenna family of Warrnambool, and the Port Fairy Cup would have been a nice trophy on the mantlepiece.
“Who would have thought Tuvalu would be running in a Port Fairy Cup, it’s ridiculous,” co-trainer Ben Hayes joked.
“But I think this is a nice race for him. He is stepping up from 1200 to 1500 metres. I think his first-up run showed he has come back really well.
“He went into the race a little bit underdone, and it has brought him on nicely.”
Fundraiser has drawn barrier three for Jye Mcneil which should enable Fundraiser a cosy run.
“He’s a horse we like to try and get cover with because he does relax when he gets cover,” Hayes said.
“He can get a bit fierce when rolling out in front. If he’s in the top four, cruising, he’ll be in that race.”
Lindsay Park also has Muswellbrook running in Saturday’s contest.
The gelding resumed with a four-length fifth over 1400m at Caulfield on January 8 and Hayes said the gelding had progressed nicely from that run.
“I thought it was a very good first-up run, he’ll probably still need this and will be peaking third or fourth up,” Hayes said.