Victory in Friday night’s $67,000 Group 2 Geelong Gold Cup would be the perfect way for former NSW trainer Steve White to celebrate his recent relocation to Victoria.
White, who has Paua To Roar engaged in the Geelong Cup, only moved to Victoria three weeks ago after purchasing a property at Buln Buln East, near Warragul, where he ‘boarded’ on many successful campaigns with his champion bitch Paua To Burn.
“I’ve always wanted to give it a crack in Victoria but for one reason or another the time wasn’t right,” White said.
“But it was at the stage where I was getting a bit stale in NSW and needed a new challenge so now is the right time. “I bought Lenny Poore’s property. It’s on eight acres in a great location. I think I’ve won eight Group races in Victoria and I stayed with Lenny for all bar the first one – when Paua To Burn won the Laurels (2004).
“Moving wasn’t a hard decision but to be honest when I arrived here I was overwhelmed by the amount of work that had to be done. I was working 15 hours a day and couldn’t seem to make any inroads but now it’s looking bigger and brighter every day.”
While White only brought four race dogs with him to Victoria he couldn’t have scripted a better start.
Paua To Roar, a grandson of Hall of Famer Paua To Burn, won his Geelong Cup heat last Friday, while Group 1 winner Tommy Brislane made a stunning return after being sidelined for 13 months with a career-threatening stopper bone injury when winning at Warragul on Tuesday.
A finalist in the Bendigo Cup in July, Paua To Roar had his first start since running second to Topgun invitee Brad Hill Billy in the Group 2 Bob Payne at Wentworth Park last month when he won his Geelong Cup heat in 25.70sec, his second win from three starts at the track.
Watch: Paua To Roar wins a closely contested heat of the Geelong Cup, his 23rd win from 47 starts.
He’s drawn box three for Friday’s $47,000 to-the-winner final with White rating Jason Thompson’s fastest qualifier Dalgetty and Angela Langton’s Shared Equity as the hardest to beat.
“Paua To Roar will have to come out a bit better than he did last week,” White said. “He won at Geelong earlier in the year but he hadn’t been out of those boxes for about ten weeks so hopefully he’ll jump better this week and pressure the red (Dalgetty). The five (Shared Equity) is a flying machine and rarely misses it and I think either the red or the five will probably win the race.
“Winning the Geelong Cup would really give me the kick I need in Victoria but it’s been a great start anyway making the final and Tommy Brislane winning after 13 months off.
“It’s been a long battle to get ‘Tommy’ back and a couple of times I didn’t think it was going to happen. It was very nerve-racking on Tuesday but it was great to see him back and he’s pulled up a treat. The Melbourne Cup will come up too soon for him so I’ll just keep building him up and we’ll aim at the Temlee and Australian Cup.”Watch & Win a $100 TAB Voucher: Has the Geelong Cup unearthed the next Black Magic Opal?