Steel Trigger out to make it two on end
Wangaratta trainer Steve Cunningham thought he was lowering his sights to a realistic level when he chose to dodge Saturday's Listed Vain Stakes at Caulfield and instead run his talented colt Steel Trigger in Wednesday's Mimco Handicap at Sandown.by AAP
By Mike Hedge
MELBOURNE, Aug 21 AAP - Wangaratta trainer Steve Cunningham thought he was lowering his sights to a realistic level when he chose to dodge Saturday's Listed Vain Stakes at Caulfield and instead run his talented colt Steel Trigger in Wednesday's Mimco Handicap at Sandown.
"But I think I've run into a pretty hot field - it might not have been much tougher on Saturday," Cunningham said.
"Four of the the six are city placed and three of them are last-start winners.
"But I suppose you've got to find out sometime if they're as good as you think."
As it happens, Cunningham thinks Steel Trigger is better than handy.
The colt won his only start by three lengths at Wagga Wagga in April and his trainer says he has come back in the same form.
But there is another entry on Steel Trigger's form card that is as intriguing as his victory.
Before he raced, Steel Trigger ran second in a Rosehill barrier trial behind a horse who won its next start.
"I actually hoped if he could win the barrier trial I might have got an offer for him," Cunningham said.
None came, Steel Trigger duly won handsomely at Wagga Wagga and the trainer settled in to enjoy racing a horse he bred from a stallion and mare he owned himself.
Cunningham had purchased Steel Trigger's sire Ganseki, a son of Rock of Gibraltar, at the Melbourne yearling sales but foot problems kept him from the racetrack.
He also raced the colt's mother Shamrock Jazz who he believes would have been a million dollar horse had she not been plagued by knee problems.
"Shamrock Jazz showed so much ability right from the start that I declared her before she won her first race in Adelaide and she got up at $40," he said.
Cunningham isn't making any such "declarations" before Wednesday's race, but he's not merely going around to make up the numbers.
"I was thinking seriously about running in the Vain Stakes, so let's just say I won't be surprised if he gives them something to chase," he said.