Dion Luciani is confident Reprisal has benefitted from his first up run and will perform strongly in Sunday’s $50,000 Mount Franklin AHA Cup (2019m) at Bunbury.
The Galileo gelding impressed when he ran on powerfully from near last to be placed sixth and 3 ½ lengths from Belora over 1600m at Ascot on February 11.
It was Reprisal’s first run in WA after arriving from the eastern states with a record of six wins and seven placings from 37 starts.
“I think he will be very competitive in the Bunbury and Pinjarra Cups,” said Luciani.
“He has a good record at the staying trip and hasn’t won anything under 1700m.
“His first up run was terrific after a tough campaign leading in and just a few weeks in our stable.
“He got held up in the straight but was doing his best work late by attacking the line hard.
“I think he is a live hope.”
Bruce Watkins is confident Kerrific can bounce back to winning form and eliminate any doubt about his ability to run out a strong staying trip.
The Blackfriars gelding has been in dominant form with three wins from five starts this preparation but has yet to win beyond the mile.
At his first attempt beyond 1600m in last fortnight’s Detonator Stakes (1800m), the five-year-old ran third to Peg’s Pride.
“It was one of those runs that you can forget about,” said Watkins.
“It didn’t prove one way or another if he could stay.
“It wasn’t a genuine staying contest and he did run home in the fastest 600m of the day.
“I’m confident he can get the trip but you never know until they are put under pressure.
“I believe he is better placed to take the next step as a stayer.
“I don’t think he can do that as a sprinter.”
Grant Williams, who won this race last year with Significant, will play a strong hand with three entrants including Lords Ransom, Battle Emblem and Moonlight Bay.
Moonlight Bay looms as a top hope after a fast-finishing fifth in the Detonator Stakes.
“She needed the run and may do again on Sunday to get her to her top,” Williams said.
“The Bunbury and Pinjarra Cups are her major targets.
“But she will definitely improve on her first-up effort.”