Christmas at the Races will head to Wanganui on Saturday and Awapuni trainer Mark Oulaghan is hoping some of the festive spirit comes his way when his in-form gelding Semper Magico lines-up in the John Turkington Forestry/Waipine Logging Bulls Country Cup 2040.
The son of Per Incanto has been in stellar form this preparation, winning four and placing in three of his seven starts this season.
He placed in his last two starts at Trentham in the Staphanos Classic (2100m) and Felding Gold Cup (2100m) and Oulaghan is hopeful of an improved result this weekend.
“He seems to have done things pretty right. His runs at Wellington were reasonably good so hopefully if he can hold that form he should be a show on Saturday,” Oulaghan said.
“It is not an overly big field so it doesn’t really matter where he races but hopefully he will be handy and not too far off them and settled in behind somewhere.”
Oulaghan has secured the services of three-kilogram claiming apprentice Jessica Allen, which will give Semper Magico some weight relief from his 60kg impost.
While the eight-year-old has been up for some time, Oulaghan believes he deserves a tilt at stakes level and he may get that chance in the Listed Steelform Roofing Group Wanganui Cup (2040m) seven days later.
“We will just see what the track looks like for the following week, he could back up in the Wanganui Cup, but we will just get through Saturday and go from there,” he said.
Meanwhile, Oulaghan’s jumping team are nearing a return to work and he is particularly looking forward to having his Champion Jumper West Coast back in his barn.
“They will come back in January and get pre-trained for five or six weeks and do a bit of hill work. They will then come back to the stable at the end of February,” he said.
“It hasn’t been finalised, but West Coast will probably following a similar path to what he did this year.”