Alison Smith’s star sprinter Missy Rhythmos is gearing up for one final run in preparation for her second tilt at the Racing NSW Country Championship – if she nominates for the Central Districts Qualifier as expected, of course.
Sunday’s 1300-metre Gold Circle Cup Class 4 Showcase Handicap at Bathurst will be the six-year-old’s 20th start and as per championship eligibility – only runners with less than 21 starts can nominate – will be her last before the region’s marquee race in a fortnight.
Considering that, 2018 will also be Missy Rhythmos’ last attempt at the $150,000 qualifier and, potentially, the $500,000 final.
The zippy mare ran fifth in last year’s qualifier at Wellington and was somewhat of a surprise packet considering she started at 31-to-one and was surrounded by substantially higher-rated horses, including stablemate Absolute Ripper.
Missy Rhythmos, now a 64-rater, won’t fly under the radar this time around though, particularly if she salutes at Bathurst this weekend, the race doubles as a championship-qualifier preview.
Although she’s the second highest rated in Sunday’s run, Smith’s mare is at $11 leading in after a seventh finish at Warwick Farm last-start.
She picked up back-to-back wins at Orange before that though and also scored a solid trial win at Wellington – one of the tougher tracks to win at in the region – before heading to the city.
She’ll carry 56kg with Anthony Cavallo on board and jump from barrier six on Sunday, with Scott Singleton’s Base Camp ($3.60), Don and Andrew Ryan’s Annecy ($4.60) and Cameron Crockett’s Turcotte ($5.50) the earlier favourites.
Sunday’s Gold Circle Cup jumps at 4.36pm.