The Chris Waller trained Index Linked will carry the top weight in the Listed $160,000 McKimms Real Estate Grafton Cup (2350m) at Grafton on Thursday.
Index Linked with 60kg on his back will lead out the final field of fifteen stayers who accepted for the Grafton Cup today.
Sydney based jockey Rory Hutchings gets the ride on the eight year old who scored his first win in over twelve months when he took out the Group 3 $200,000 Carlton Mid Tattersall’s Cup (2200m) at Eagle Farm on June 25.
Index Linked was then sent out as one of the favourites at his next start but was beaten five and a half lengths when seventh to Amexed in the Listed $175,000 Cellar Maintenance Australia Caloundra Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast on July 2.
The Waller trained stayer will meet Amexed 1kg better in the Grafton Cup but the Tony Gollan trained five year old will be hard to beat again.
Amexed is lining up for a hat trick of wins in the Grafton Cup and as well as winning the Caloundra Cup last start, was also a winner at his previous start in a 2150m BenchMark 80 Handicap at Ipswich on June 18 with Grafton Cup jockey Robbie Fradd in the saddle.
“This horse won the Rough Habit Plate and was fifth in the Queensland Derby as a three-year-old but things went wrong and it wasn’t until Ipswich he won again,” Gollan said.
“I believe he is potentially the best stayer I have trained and I am so pleased for the owners because they didn’t complain once when he struck the bad patch.”
Gollan will also saddle up Brave Ali in the Grafton Cup with Tegan Harrison to ride again following a last start fifth in the Tattersall’s Cup.
Harrison has been the regular rider for Brave Ali who hasn’t been in the winner’s stall since leading all of the way to take out the 2014 Listed $175,000 Ipswich Cup (2150m) at Ipswich.
Toowoomba stayer Jumbo Prince will also line up in the Grafton Cup and has been racing consistently with seconds at his last two starts in the Ipswich Cup and in the Caloundra Cup.
The John O’Shea stable will be represented with Malice while Coffs Harbour trained Rednav earned himself a start in the Grafton Cup after winning the Grafton Cup Prelude (2215m) at Grafton last Thursday.