Jockey Jim Byrne is confident that Alma’s Fury can score his second straight victory when he contests the 2014 Glasshouse Handicap (1400m) at Caloundra on Saturday.
Alma’s Fury made his debut for the Tony Gollan stable with a promising seventh in the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm on May 31 before scoring a narrow victory over Masthead in the Listed Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) at Ipswich on June 14.
The Refuse To Bend gelding drew barrier 11 for the Listed event and Byrne admits that the outside draw is a slight concern, but he told Sky Racing HQ that believes the six-year-old is capable of scoring a fourth black type victory in the Glasshouse Handicap this weekend.
“I couldn’t have been happier with the way that he finished the Eye Liner off and I believe that this is a softer race than what the Eye Liner was,” Byrne said.
“Hopefully we can get a good run from a bit of an awkward gate and I think that he is going to be a good chance.
“It is easily 400 metres or so (to the first turn) and we have plenty of time to work our way into the race and get across.
“Obviously the pace of the race is going to be crucial, but he was able to get up there the other day in the Eye Liner and I don’t see him getting back too far.
“The further he goes into this prep he starts to get a bit more dour, but the horse has been sprinting well and I don’t foresee anything different on Saturday and the horse will be able to put himself up there, just underneath them and he is going to be strong on the line.”
Alma’s Fury will carry the top weight of 59 and a half kilograms in the Glasshouse Handicap, but has proven to be a strong weight carrier throughout his career; lugging 59 kilos to his past wins in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) and Eye Liner Stakes.
Byrne is not concerned about the heavy weight for Alma’s Fury and is confident that it will not be an issue for the rising seven-year-old as long as he is able to take up a comfortable position in the early stages of the race.
“He was able to sprint with it,” Byrne said.
“It is always a little bit of a concern, but he has only gone up half a kilo from his win in the Eye Liner.
“My main concern is trying to get him across from the awkward gate and I will tackle that first and worry about the gate second.”
Alma’s Fury ($4) is currently on top of 2014 Glasshouse Handicap betting markets from Black Cash ($5.50), Jetset Lad ($6.50) and Playitstraight ($7).