Cup winner on comeback trail

My Scotsgrey will take a further step towards the Gr.2 Wellington Cup at Trentham next month when he races at Te Rapa tomorrow.

The seven-year-old son of Golan will contest the Valachi Downs 2100 in just his second start since October last year and, though sure to benefit further from the outing, Cambridge trainer Shaune Ritchie is expecting an improver’s run from him.

My Scotsgrey, winner of the 2009 Christchurch Casino NZ Cup at Riccarton, resumed in the Eagle Technology Stakes at Ellerslie on December 1 and, as expected, he was completely outpaced over the 1600 metres, finishing last.

“He’s a dead-set stayer and there was no way he was going to be a chance last time, but up to 2100 metres tomorrow I’d like to see him hitting the line well. I don’t think he’s a winning chance — Chaparrone is a weight certainty — but if he can run third or fourth I’ll be happy.”

My Scotsgrey has had only 21 starts for five wins and seven placings with his last win being over the same course and distance as tomorrow’s event, in August last year.

“He’s had two seasons off with tendon issues so he’s a day-to-day proposition, but he seems well at the moment,” said Ritchie. “He’s showing no signs of not wanting to be out there. In fact he’s pulling a bit in his trackwork.”

My Scotsgrey’s last placing was the start after his Te Rapa win and it came in Melbourne in a Flemington 2000 metres in which he finished fourth behind December Draw, Green Moon and Showcause. Of course, Green Moon, came back this year and won the Melbourne Cup and December Draw was placed over the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

“If he can get back to show some of that form he could be in for a good season,” said Ritchie. “He’ll miss the main summer racing over the Christmas – New Year, though. He’ll run next in an open distance race at Ellerslie on January 12 then if he shapes up he’ll go for the Wellington Cup.”

My Scotsgrey will be ridden tomorrow by Opie Bosson, who is at the top of his game.