Sydney jockeys Corey Brown and Brenton Avdulla have committed to riding at the annual Grafton Cup carnival next week.
Brown is keen to get back aboard country galloper Magic Cassius after having to forego the winning ride on the four year old because of illness when Kerrin McEvoytook the reins to take out the Benchmark 75 Handicap (1200m) at Newcastle on June 20.
But Brown is already booked to ride Magic Cassius for Gosford trainer Angela Davies in the Listed $150,000 WHK Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton next Wednesday.
Brown was very impressed with the Magic Albert four year old when he partnered him to a two length win in a No Metro Win Handicap over 1250m at Canterbury in December and is certain the gelding is up to the class of the Ramornie.
Brown’s manager Brett Grant said that he liked the win of Magic Cassius that much that he was willing to give up rides at next week’s Canterbury’s midweek meeting to travel to Grafton.
“He was adamant he’s going to Grafton,” Grant said.
“Ever since he rode the horse back in December he’s had a good rap on him and while the Ramornie is a big jump in grade Corey reckons he’ll beat them.”
Brown is also booked to ride Disciple for premiership winning trainer Chris Waller in the Tursa Employment Grafton Guineas (1600m) for three year olds.
Disciple has good midweek form with a win and a second at Canterbury before a last fourth at Newcastle in a Benchmark 71 for three year old over 1850m and looks well placed here.
Avdulla is looking forward to joining trainer Con Karakatsanis at the Grafton Carnival and will be riding there most of the week from Sunday.
“I’m heading up to ride on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday,” Avdulla said.
“I’m looking forward to the week up there. Things are pretty quiet in Sydney at the moment and this is one of the great country carnivals in Australia.”
Avdulla hopes to continue his winning association with Howmuchdoyouloveme after the three year old was undefeated at two runs in Brisbane over the Winter Carnival and is also looking to the Ramornie.
Karakatsanis produced Howmuchdoyouloveme to win first up in the one Metro Win Handicap over 1010m at Doomben on June 11 then the three year old scored again in the 1200m 3yo Handicap at Eagle Farm on June 23.
“He’s a very serious horse and has a lot of improvement,” Avdulla said.
“He’s a very gifted animal with a lot of ability but he just has to learn his trade and learn to settle. In saying that he’s learning all the time.”
“I haven’t ridden too many horses that can gallop like him on the track.”
The annual Grafton Cup Carnival creates a terrific atmosphere and attracts a lot of high quality horses as well as top jockeys and trainers.
This year is no different and Ipswich and Caloundra Cups winner Shenzhou Steeds could be a likely starter in the Listed $150,000 Grafton Cup (2350m) at Grafton on July 12 while Patinack Farm trainer John Thompson has announced that Shamardashing and Saint Encosta could line up in the Cup.