A good barrier draw is what trainer Gerald Ryan feels will be enough to see Shoreham return to the winner’s circle in the Listed $150,000 Blanchard Haulage Grafton Cup (2350m) at Grafton on Thursday.
Shoreham had to come from near the tail of the field after drawing the outside barrier in the Group 3 $200,000 Carlton Draught Tattersall’s Cup (2400m) at the Gold Coast on June 20 when a close second to Escado.
But Ryan will be hoping that Brenton Avdulla will be able to take up a handier position from barrier four and have the five year old in striking distance of the leaders on the home turn.
“If he’d drawn where he has at Grafton I’m pretty sure he would have won,” Ryan told AAP.
“We had to go back at the Gold Coast but with a better barrier and on a bigger track we should be able to ride him a tad closer and that might make the difference.”
Shoreham was having his first start for the Ryan stable in the Tattersall’s Cup and the top Rosehill conditioner has been pleased with his progress on the Gold Coast since his unlucky second.
“I was up there last week and he looks really good,” Ryan said.
“He’s a lovely little horse, quiet, no hassle and easy to train.
“Obviously I haven’t had him for that long but he’s not a horse you have to hurt with work. He pretty much keeps himself fit.”
“It’s hard to say he has improved, other than to say he’s done really well, but he pulled up after the Gold Coast like a horse that would take improvement from the run and I think he has.
“The Grafton Cup looks a tough, even race but a race within Shoreham’s reach.”
Shoreham is a winner of three races from thirty-five five starts, all at Flemington, and hasn’t been to the winner’s stall since his win over 1400m in the Listed $120,000 The Sofitel in the Spring of 2013.
But he indicated that his next win is not far away with is gutsy second at the Gold Coast two and half weeks ago.
Shoreham has come in for plenty of support since the final field was released on Monday and is currently marked at $9 with Ladbrokes.com.au after $13 was on offer.
The Ciaron Maher trainer Kapour is holding his spot at the top of the market order at $3.50 just ahead of Gai Waterhouse’s import Bonfire at $5 and Chris Waller’s Reigning at $7.
Grafton Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 Kapour, $5 Bonfire, $7 Reigning, $9 Banca Mo, Shoreham, $10 Danchai, $13 Darci Be Good, $17 Dream Folk, $26 Gosh, Archean, $34 Noisy Ocean, Phrases, $81 Rapidus, $101 Mullet Man, Kingston Time.