Tamworth Cup credentials go on the line at and there’s no shortage of candidates in a competitive prelude at the feature meeting on Tuesday.
Just 17 days out from the $200,000 cup over the same 1400m course, a tough-as-teak Newcastle four-year-old can make an early statement.
The Jason Deamer-trained War Cat, which is hard fit and seemingly well placed on the limit weight, comes back from a high rating Muswellbrook Cup (1500m) where he wilted late after doing plenty of early work in a deeper race.
That was behind high-class mare and Summer Provincial Championship Series Final winner Itz Lily and Starspangled Rodeo, who has won two of his last four up to benchmark 88 metropolitan level.
This is far more to his liking, but there will be no room for error around a smaller track. Dubbo five-year-old What The Fuss, Quirindi Cup-winning backmarker Salsa Man, and Scone mare Total Recall, who resumes off two impressive trial wins, look the main dangers.
Meanwhile, a classic showdown looms in the final race between two progressive four-year-old mares both having their ninth start and drawn right alongside each other in the class 2 over 1200m.
Lightly raced Stunning Mosa has been taken along slowly this prep by Scone trainer Mark Schmetzer, and she’s due for a big change of luck.
Stunning Mosa was a good thing rolled resuming at Muswellbrook when badly held up at a crucial stage down the straight before attacking the line late.