Ballarat apprentice jockey Anthony Boyd has already had a big week.
He had his first win since returning from an extended injury-enforced lay-off at Moe on Thursday.
In only his fifth ride back, Boyd landed the money on White Dollar Sign ($15) for Ballarat trainer John Thom in a benchmark70, 2050m.
Boyd was off the scene for four months after a freakish incident at Pakenham in June, injurying his back when he was getting out of a spa. He was diagnosed a few days later to have sprained his coccyx bone.
Now that Boyd is back in the saddle, he is keen to keep his turn of good luck going and gets a real opportunity to do that in the $20,000 Blue Pyrenees Estate Avoca Cup, 1860m, on Saturday.
He has the ride on Peculatus for another Ballarat trainer Mandy Shillito and the seven-year-old’s form suggests he can give the cup a real shake.
Peculatus takes a similar formline into the Avoca Cup as it did last year, with back-to-back wins at Warracknabeal and Mildura four and three starts ago.
His last-start fifth to Pemberley in the Murtoa Cup, 2050m, was full of merit. He raced on pace and while he was did finish almost six lengths off the pace this form has been franked by Pemberley’s presence in the Caulfield Cup on Saturday.
Peculatus is on the minimum weight and as a galloper which likes running near or in the lead is well suited on the Avoca circuit. He is also proven on heavy tracks.
Top weight Puccini is the class factor, but does have the weight impost of 66.5kg and this will not make it easy first up.
However, if he is to go to the bigger assignments that trainer Wayne Walters has in mind he really needs to salute.
Darren Weir’s Count of Limonade has done little since arriving from Ireland more than two years ago, with his only Australian win being in the 2014 Moe Cup.
Something To Share will be hard to beat for Stawell trainer Dane Smith. He looks well suited second up, having won the St Arnaud and Ararat Cups in the spring last year when prepared by Weir.
Something To Share resumed with a fourth to Pemberley in the Sheep Hills Cup at Warracknabeal.
Avoca Shire Turf Club has seven races for Cup Day, with the first at 1.10pm.
MEANWHILE, grand circuit pacer Guaranteed makes his return from injury for Ballarat trainer Emma Stewart in the group 3 $30,000 Swan Hill Pacing Cup, 2790m.
This is his first start since the AG Hunter Cup in February last year. Guaranteed clashes with boom pacer Hectorjayjay.