By Jordan Gerrans
With brother Todd already qualified for George Moore Stakes day at Doomben later this year, Clinton Austin will be aiming to do the same and, in the process, claim his second ever hometown Blackall Cup this Saturday afternoon.
The Austin brothers are prolific trainers in the Central West region of Queensland, with former jockey and now trainer Todd basing himself at Barcaldine and Clinton remaining at Blackall.
The brothers have three chances in Saturday’s Blackall Cup, which will double as a Country Cups Challenge qualifier for later this year in Brisbane.
The Austins are stalwarts of racing in the area and to Clinton’s knowledge, they have all only ever been successful in the Cup on one occasion, with a galloper named after the Italian soccer club – Fiorentina.
On that occasion, some 30 years ago, Clinton was the owner, Todd the jockey and their father Ken trained Fiorentina, Clinton recalls.
With three chances this Saturday, they will have as good a chance as ever to claim a second Blackall Cup, with Clinton hopeful Burden can continue his consistent form – not being outside of the money in his last six efforts.
“He tries,” Clinton said.
“He is a good horse – end of story – there is not much else I can say about him about that. He is a good horse and he is in this race right up to his ears.”
In the Cup – to be run over 1400 metres for $10,000 – Todd starts stable mates Doom and Kedleston, while Clinton has Burden coming from the widest barrier in the seven horse field on the dirt track.
“The wide barrier certainly does not help when we are racing at Blackall, that is a real problem,” Clinton said.
“They just keep turning here, it will be hard but we will just leave it jockey Timmy Brummell – I hope he can just slot in behind the leaders.
“He gets a good run to the half mile but then never stops turning.”