While injury has twice stalled Murraguldrie’s career, the bargain buy gelding’s form has trainer Rob Potter and an adoring group of owners dreaming of a hometown Cup.
March’s $200,000 Listed Canberra Cup (2000m) is the main target but first the horse will attempt to win back-to-back city races in the Tab.com.au Handicap (1550m) at Canterbury on Wednesday.
Murraguldrie started his career with trainer Mick Miladinovic before being sold online for $4000.
“I’m a farrier as well and I used to shoe Mick’s horses,” Potter said.
“But I didn’t know he was for sale until one of the boys that bought him saw him on the internet.
“He’s broken down twice on us so he’s been a lot of work but the owners all stuck together with him and we’re going all right now.”
After arriving at Potter’s training farm between Canberra and Yass, Murraguldrie spent 14 months on the sidelines with a tendon injury and his career was again halted last year by a fetlock issue which kept him from racing for 10 months.
But when he’s fit, country life agrees with Murraguldrie who has racked up four wins and six placings from 13 starts since joining Potter’s team.
“He puts in every time,” Potter said.
“I’d nearly say he’s probably going better this time around than previous.”
Murraguldrie’s last-start win at Warwick Farm over 1400m spoke volumes about his attitude.
“He just wants to win,” Potter said.
“You saw that at Warwick Farm. He just put those ears back and he wasn’t fully wound up because he doesn’t gallop much.
“He needed that run and he got away with the win.”
With temperatures expected to go close to 40 degrees, stewards have invoked the highest level of Racing NSW’s hot weather policy.
But Potter isn’t concerned about the hulking seven-year-old handling the heat.
“When he raced at Warwick Farm and it was 38 he pulled up really good after the run. The weather won’t affect him,” Potter said.
Leading Sydney apprentice James Innes retains the ride on Murraguldrie.
Potter believes the horse is well suited in the race but will improve further on a bigger track.
One of those is Canberra where he could reach the peak of his second major comeback.
“Of course you’d be aiming high but you’ve got to set yourself a goal,” Potter said.