Winter Cup outsider warms to challenge

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June 29, 2017 - 02:42 PM

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When Mary Bray was told how the TAB disregarded her first ever runner in Listed company, it was a case of so be it for her filly So It Is.

Undeterred by the TAB quoting the three-year-old as the $61 outsider for the Winter Cup (2400m) on Saturday, Bray is just relishing the adventure.

"We're realistic about our chances but it's great fun to be able to bring a horse from sleepy Braidwood up to Rosehill for a stakes race," Bray said.

A former breeder, Bray took out her training licence in 2015 and is based an hour south of Goulburn in the NSW Southern Tablelands.

"I'm honestly not expecting to come home with the Winter Cup. What I want to see from her is that she belongs in that company," Bray said.

Bray bought So It Is for $30,000 at a dispersal sale last December after the mare had two runs for Godolphin on synthetic tracks in Melbourne.

"I'm an E-Trakka trainer and pretty much from her first gallop we thought 'hang on, here's a horse that's got exceptional speed and also exceptional staying capacity'," Bray said.

"She's a November foal so she'll come back bigger and better and stronger and hopefully be a player in the better staying races."

The E-Trakka system records a horse's speed, position, stride length and heart rate during work-outs.

Bray has four horses in work at an operation where the horses are in their own paddocks rather than stables.

"It's a nice healthy lifestyle for them," she said.

"I basically got out of commercial breeding because I couldn't make a go of it and thought everything I breed is winning races so why don't I try training?"

Bray has only had seven runners since May 2016, with So It Is the obvious stand-out after she won her maiden at Kembla Grange on May 2.

That victory means Bray is undaunted at racing against the likes of Chris Waller, Darren Weir and Darren Beadman in Sydney.

Weir trains Gallic Chieftain, the $2.50 favourite for the Winter Cup, while Waller lines up Montauk ($5.50) and Soviet Courage ($7) in the 10-strong field.

"We've already beaten Waller and Snowden (Peter and Paul). She beat them at Kembla so that holds no fears for us," Bray said.