Cranbourne trainer Cindy Alderson is banking on Michelle Payne’s local knowledge to boost the chances of Manageress in the Listed $300,000 Ballarat Cup (2200m) at Ballarat on Saturday.
The Melbourne Cup winning jockey will be having her first ride on Manageress but has teamed up with Alderson in the past for several wins.
“Michelle’s ridden a few winners for me and she knows the track so we’ll take any advantage we can get,” Alderson told racing.com.
Payne has been based at Ballarat and was granted a jockey – trainer’s licence this season and has set up her training complex at Nottingham Farm just outside of Ballarat.
Manageress will be stepping out for the sixth time this preparation and Alderson says that she is ready to handle the step up to the 2200m of the Ballarat Cup.
“I think Manageress is ready to run really well. She’s been competitive at 2000m so hopefully that extra 200 (metres) won’t test her too much, Alderson said.
“She’s been a bit unlucky this campaign as things haven’t fallen her way a couple of times so hopefully tomorrow from a good draw they will.
“We’ve always felt she’d be effective at 2000m and she’s won at 2000m against mares and run second in a Matriarch so I think tomorrow if she gets a good run, she can show her prowess.”
Manageress likes to race back in the field and Payne is certain to give her a good from barrier two in the capacity eighteen horse Ballarat Cup field.
The Magnus mare has had mixed Spring form and as well as being placed on two occasions, has been well beaten at her other three outings.
Her latest form saw her run second two starts back in the Listed $150,000 Ladbrokes Sale Cup (1600m) at Sale on October 23 before finishing twelfth to Jessy Belle Group 2 $300,000 7News Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 5.
Manageress hasn’t won for over twelve months since winning a 2000m BenchMark 84 Handicap at Caulfield in August last year but then later in the campaign went on to run second to Lucia Valentina in the 2015 Matriarch Stakes.
Manageress has drifted in the betting for the Ballarat Cup and is currently listed at $26 after opening up at $17 at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Lee and Anthony Freedman trained Cool Chap sits at the top of the market order at $7.50 just ahead of stablemate Nozomi at $8, Lidari and Lady Le Fay at $8.50 and top weight Turnitaround at $10.