BIg Week Can Get Better For James Innes

Lightweight Sydney jockey James Innes Jnr will make this week the best of his career if he can win Friday’s $180,000 Albury Gold Cup for the Gai Waterhouse/Adrian Bott stable.

BIg Week Can Get Better For James Innes

Lightweight Sydney jockey James Innes Jnr will make this week the best of his career if he can win Friday’s $180,000 Albury Gold Cup for the Gai Waterhouse/Adrian Bott stable.

James Innes Jnr
James Innes Jnr Picture:Steve Hart

Innes, the son of former leading Sydney rider Jamie Innes, has been entrusted with the Albury Cup ride on the lightly-raced 5YO Taikomochi Horseform, giving him the opportunity to win his second country feature race in a week for the Waterhouse/Bott team.

On Sunday Innes landed the 200th win of his career when he rode Chocolatier Horseform to an all the way win in the Bathurst Cup for Waterhouse and Bott.

His reward is the ride on stablemate Taikomochi in the Listed Commercial Club Albury Cup (2000m), the richest country cup race in NSW and an event Waterhouse has been striving to win for more than a decade.

It will be the first time Innes has ridden at Albury and would give the young jockey the richest win of his career that began as an apprentice at Randwick in 2012.

It would also be only his third win in a black type race, having won the G3 Ming Dynasty Quality on Danawi Horseform at Randwick in 2018 and the Listed Stayers Cup on Plot Twist Horseform at Rosehill in 2017.

Waterhouse has made numerous attempts to win the Albury Cup over the last 15 years but has been frustrated by a series of minor placings.

Her best results have been last year’s second with Supply And Demand Horseform, a third placing with Hippopus Horseform in 2016 and fourth with Queenstown Horseform in 2015.

She should be confident about Taikomochi’s chances on Friday after the gelding’s last start second to Samadoubt in a strong Canberra Cup (2000m) on March 10 when he was having only his second start after a long spell of 10 months.

Canberra Cup third Almost Court Horseform and fifth placed Green Waters Horseform – winner of the Albury Cup in 2017 – are also set to join Taikomochi in Friday’s field.

Fellow Randwick trainers Peter and Paul Snowden are also seeking a first Albury Cup win after confirming a start for their consistent gelding Emperor’s Way.

Crack Sydney jockey Glyn Schofield has retained the ride on Emperor's Way Horseform after riding the 5YO at his latest start at Randwick on March 9 when he finished a close third behind Hiyaam Horseform and Shraaoh Horseform in the Listed Randwick City Stakes over 2000m.

Peter Snowden first targeted Albury's premier race when he was head trainer for Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley stable but his two starters, Peck Horseform in 2013 and Kukri Horseform in 2014, both finished seventh.

Albury Racing Club received 24 nominations for the Albury Gold Cup with the Anthony Freedman-trained Japanese import Ambitious heading the weights with 62kg.

Other Victorian entries include the classy Lindsay Park pair So Si Bon Horseform and Valac Horseform, the Ciaron Maher/David Eustace stablemates Age Of Fire Horseform and Thunder Cloud Horseform and the in-form Prince Ziggy Horseform from the Jamie Edwards stable.

Ambitious Horseform, a Group 2 and Group 3 winner in Japan, has had eight starts in Australia without a win but was placed in last year’s Tancred Stakes and Doomben Cup at Group 1 level.

He has raced once in Melbourne since a spell and could race at Albury after missing a start at Rosehill last Saturday when he was scratched from the Sky High Stakes because of the heavy track.

Anthony Freedman trained the 2016 Albury Cup winner Tom Melbourne Horseform in partnership with his brother Lee and also prepared the 2017 runner-up Cool Chap Horseform.

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