Sydney rider sought for Glory Days

Glory Days winning the Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m).  - Trish Dunell
Glory Days winning the Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m).

Trish Dunell

Bill Thurlow is sticking to his policy when it comes to booking a rider for Glory Days in the Gr.1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick next month.

The Waverley trainer confirmed plans are underway for Glory Days to be in Sydney for A$2 million feature following her decisive win in Saturday’s Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie.

He is weighing up the lead-up race options for Glory Days, but has already decided on what he will do for a rider in Sydney.

“No disrespect to Sam Collett, she rode him beautifully in the Auckland Cup, but I have a policy with riders,’’ Thurlow said.

“When I decided to take Glory Days to Auckland I wanted a good northern rider who knows the track well and that’s how I booked Sam. I’m sticking with the same policy when she goes to Sydney. I will  try and find a good Sydney rider who knows Randwick well.

‘’I think it’s important to have riders familiar with the tracks as every track can be so different. Randwick is a lot different from Ellerslie. I’m sure I’ll be able to get a good lightweight Sydney rider, but Sam can be on her again if she runs over here.’’

Glory Days is 12th equal and weighted at 51kg for the Sydney Cup and, though the Auckland Cup was the main goal, Thurlow said the Sydney Cup has always been an option.

“She’s eating up well and looking good, not tucked up at all,’’ he said. ‘’I just want to make sure she’s 100 percent before confirming everything, but at this stage it’s definitely the option.

“I’ve just got to try and map out how to get her to the Sydney Cup. Whether she has a lead-up here and goes for a lightning raid or has her lead-up over there, probably in the Chairman’s (Gr.2, 2600m).”

The two local options being considered are both at Awapuni, the Gr.2 City Of Palmerston North Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m) on March 30 and the Gr.3 L J Hooker Manawatu Breeders (2000m) six days later.

Thurlow has been flooded with congratulations over his first Group One win and in typical modest fashion he gives all the credit to Glory Days.

‘’She’s a fast stayer, a quick actioned horse,’’ he said. ‘’You just push the button and she goes bang. She showed that on Saturday when Sam went to improve on her. She grabbed the bit and worked into it easily. She travels so sweetly and doesn’t pull hard.

‘’She’s also so versatile, she’s won from 1200m to 3200m. Not many stayers can do that.’’

Though Glory Days’ campaign began just over a fortnight into this season, with a win at the local Waverley meeting, Thurlow has managed to keep her up for eight months and she is still showing no signs of being over the top.

She has excelled since being stepped up over more ground and won four races in succession within 49 days from mid-October, including a most popular local win in the Waverley Cup (2200m) followed by victory in the Listed Wanganui Cup (2040m).

Since then she has been runner-up in the Listed Wairarapa Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) and won both her starts at Ellerslie, beginning with the Gr.2 Avondale Cup (2400m) last month.

“She’s won six of her last eight starts. The only time she’s really missed was at Awapuni (Gr.3 Manawatu Cup, 2200m) when it wasn’t her fault,’’ Thurlow said. - NZ Racing Desk


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