After a gutsy all-the-way midweek win at Ascot Racecourse yesterday, Perth Cup favourite Trap For Fools looks set for another run on Saturday tenaciously backing-up in the Group 2 $400,000 Ted Van Heemst Stakes (2100m).
The cult-like status in Perth Racing circles has continued to grow on the Lindsey Smith-trained Trap For Fools, the Poet’s Voice four-year-old having won eight of his past nine starts including six on the trot.
The latest came only on Wednesday when the gelding held off his rivals in the Listed $100,000 A.T.A. Stakes (2200m).
Casuarina horseman Smith has since confirmed Trap For Fools pulled-up well post win and looked on track for the Ted Van Heemst Stakes on the weekend, the weight-for-age feature formerly known as the C.B. Cox Stakes.
“As it stands, he’s running again on Saturday,” Smith told The West Australian, also confirming the horse would undergo a final vet check before the weekend.
“He’s pulled up well. I’ll take him to a beach on Friday.
“Then we’ll get the vet to go right over him in the afternoon, before a final decision is made on backing him up.”
Smith was also full of praise for 28-year-old jockey Alan Kennedy who took over for Hong Kong hoop Douglas Whyte aboard Trap For Fools on Wednesday.
“The horse responded to Alan’s vigour after it looked a bit scary as challengers loomed in the straight,” Smith said.
“I had been worried Alan didn’t have him going fast enough in the back straight.
“But he got the best out of him when it counted.”
Of course the key summer racing target for the now $340,000 earner is the Group 2 $500,000 Perth Cup (2400m) over the mile and a half on New Year’s Day.
Trap For Fools currently sits top of pre-field Perth Cup odds for 2018 at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $4, just ahead of Material Man ($4.60) and Pounamu ($7).
All going to plan and he will get an early chance to prove his Perth Cup claims taking on those two gallopers in the Ted Van Heemst Stakes.
“His front-running style makes him a sitting duck, but he keeps going when the pressure is on,” Smith added of his now stable ace Trap For Fools.
“He has an astonishingly good heart rate.”
Kennedy will retain the ride on Saturday should the horse back-up and also in the Perth Cup on January 1, which the jockey is confident Trap For Fools can win.
“I’ve been through suspensions, injuries and all sorts of things,” Kennedy, winner of the 2010 Perth Cup aboard Lords Ransom, said.
“The mount on Trap For Fools is a wonderful opportunity
“He’s a lovely horse to ride.
“I’m sure he’ll handle weight-for-age on Saturday and then step up to 2400m in the cup.”
It is the Justin Warwick-trained Vital Equine six-year-old Material Man currently installed as the $3 favourite for Saturday’s Ted Van Heemst Stakes meanwhile, tipped to improve on his second to Pounamu in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) last start.