CANBERRA trainer Mick Miladinovic is hoping lightning can strike twice when his seven-year-old gelding Micalong lines up in Friday’s $50,000 Allandale Park Stud Orange Cup.
Set to jump at 4.35pm at Towac Park, Miladinovic’s 2012 Orange Cup champion will be gunning wide from barrier 13 and with a strong chance of as much as 10 millimetres of rain today, the wetter the better for the mighty Micalong.
“That’s what I thought too,” Miladinovic said.
“He seems to have a liking for the track and I thought if it was wet that’d help him as well.
“I had the option of going to Wagga or going to Orange and I thought Orange was the better option.
“He’s got the same jockey (Jeff Penza) that won in 2012 so hopefully they’ll do well again.”
Micalong ran wide to claim the 2012 Orange Cup, edging $3 favourite Slick Sniper, the brother of three-time Group One champion Snipers Bullett, by a nose.
Paying $15 for the win that day, Miladinovic is confident his prized gelding will again be there when the whips are cracking on a track the seven-year-old traditionally saves his best for even with the unfavourable wide barrier draw.
“That doesn’t worry him. He’ll sit back and come home strong,” Miladinovic said, defianlty before adding the cup’s 2012 champion was timing his run right.
“He’s been a bit off lately. He’s got soft feet so it’s rare to see him running soundly. But at the moment he’s running sound so hopefully he can put on a good show.”
Although not as strong as last year’s field, this year’s Orange Cup isn’t without its stars.
The Nick Olive prepared Capital Commander will have Group One winning jockey Hugh Bowman on board while Prince of Capers, trained by Tony McEvoy, is being tipped to be one of the favourites with punters on Friday at Towac Park.
But, you only have to look at the last two Orange Cup winners to see form means little in Racing Orange’s 1600m jewel event.
Last year’s winner Jimmy Fortunes won paying $21 and Micalong returned $15 for the lucky punters in 2012.
Miladinovic said with Capital Commander carrying 56.5 kilograms and Prince of Capers a whopping 61.5kg, weight will determine today’s winner on a predicted dead track at Towac.
“They’re carrying a fair bit of weight so they’ll need to have a lot go well for them to win,” he predicted.
“It’s one of those races where anything can happen. It’ll come down to the day.”
The 2014 $50,000 Allandale Park Stud Orange Cup will jump from 4.35pm on Friday at Towac Park.
Gates open at 12pm.