Paul Cave may not have the prominent name of the Moody’s or the Cumming’s or the Snowden’s, but when it comes to the Christmas Cup no other trainer comes close.
It’s as if Cave comes alive during the festive season and his horses feed of his energy to perform at their best in the $100,000 Listed race at Rosehill Gardens.
In fact over the last two decades Cave has managed to win six of them, a remarkable strike rate for a trainer with only a relatively small team in work.
Unfortunately though he won’t be adding to the tally this year as the trainer has been left without a runner for this Saturday.
He was to have Our Billy Blue in the contest but the frustrating decision has been made to withdraw him.
The gelding laboured home in 10th spot behind Revolt last start and it has since been discovered he’s suffering from a virus.
Cave said they’ll have to look after him for the next couple of weeks in the hope of salvaging the rest of his program.
“We will treat the horse and I’m hoping he can continue his summer campaign,” Cave said.
“But unfortunately he is out of the Christmas Cup. I would have loved to have had a runner, it’s been a good race for me, but it was not meant to be this year.”
Cave first topped the Christmas Cup back in 1991 with Prince Weyand.
Since then they’ve come in thick and fast with Lahar in 1998, Pasta Express in 1999, Airlie Bird in 2002, Sadarar in 2003 and Taken At The Flood in 2006.
The 2011 Christmas Cup now looks like having 13 entrants with Solid Billing and Strike One topping the weights with 58kg ahead of Scouting Wide on 56.5kg.