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Strobing is Ball's chance to carve some cup history (Taree Sunday)

3 minute read

The $100,000 Stacks Law Firm Taree Gold Cup over 2000 metres is a race local trainer Tony Ball doesn’t have much of a history in, but he’s hoping to change all that with Strobing at Sunday’s big meeting.

Trainer TONY BALL.
Trainer TONY BALL. Picture: Steve Hart

"Strobing is a chance, they're all a chance, depends how fast they go!" the affable Tony Ball said.

Ball has had a few go fast for him recently – particularly at his home track.

He trained a winning treble at the October 20 meeting at Taree and a single winner at the October 6 meeting there.

"If we get a little bit of rain like we're predicted to get it'll help Strobing's chances," Ball said.

"He's won over 2000 metres at Port Macquarie and 1900 at Kempsey and his last win, which was over 1600 at Taree two starts back, was really good. The 2000 metres is a distance he really likes and it's time to get him out there to that again. He doesn't have to carry much weight.

"He was fourth at Kempsey in his last start and that was still good. He just got caught a bit deep when a few of them made their runs together. He's on a nine-day back-up into the cup and that will suit him nicely."

Asked what his history as a trainer in the Taree Cup had been like, Ball replied:

"I've only had one runner in the Taree Cup and he ran seventh, going back a few years. That was Senatorial.

"Around cup time I haven't had a lot of horses that were suited by the 2000 metres and were up to the class, but this time I've got one that deserves a run. Strobing will give a good account of himself."

Ball's apprentice jockey, Mollie Fitzgerald, has ridden Strobing in its last two starts and will ride the five-year-old gelding again in the cup.

"Mollie is going very good," Ball said.

"She's getting plenty of rides from outside stables now because she's shown what she can do. She listens to your advice and learns from her rides and she's getting results.

"She's only been riding for three months and this would obviously be her biggest win if she managed to take out the cup. It would be great if we could win it together."

The Gai Waterhouse-Adrian Bott stable won the cup last year with Military Mission and has accepted with two horses for this year's event.

I'm A Dirty Rascal and I'mintowin are in the race, but the stable has also accepted for the pair at the Newcastle meeting on Saturday with the former scratched from Taree on Friday morning.

Four-year-old gelding I'mintowin certainly brings winning form. Coming off two strong barrier trial performances, it won first-up over 1500 metres at Rosehill on November 4 in a strong Saturday benchmark 78 race during the spring carnival.

Formerly a New Zealand horse, that was I'mintowin's first start for Waterhouse-Bott and he has now had seven career starts for two wins and two placings.

I'mintowin would step up in distance for the Taree Gold Cup, but if the Waterhouse-Bott stable believes he is capable of doing that successfully then that is as good a guide as punters need when it comes to the horse's chances.

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