Liam O’Loughlin’s emotional 2022 Albany Cup bid

It’s been 10 years since a local horse has won the Albany Cup, but young trainer Liam O’Loughlin believes he has a great chance of breaking that drought on Sunday.

Having his first crack at winning the Albany Cup, Liam O’Loughlin saddles up Wild Fusion and he’s optimistic he can fly the local flag proudly and keep the Perth visitors at bay.

“I think he is a genuine chance,” O’Loughlin told The Races WA.

“He loves the track and grows a leg when he doesn’t have to travel

“Going up and down the highway to Perth as a seven-year-old takes it’s toll.

“The drop in weight should also be a help and I think he is a genuine top three chance.”

From fifty starts, Wild Fusion has gone past the post first on nine occasions, winning races from 1230m to 1690m.

He’s rarely been tested beyond a mile, but O’Loughlin says his recent efforts over increased ground have been solid.

In March Wild Fusion finished a half-head second to Western King (1920m) and last-start he was held up when seventh behind Classic Jack (1925m).

O’Loughlin says Wild Fusion has the stamina to run out a strong 2100m in the Albany Cup.

“Two runs back he just got rolled by the bob of the head over 1900m, so the distance isn’t going to be a problem,” O’Loughlin said.

“He can run the same last 600m as he can the first which will be in our favour.

“Not many horses can run the same time, they usually run one slower than the other.

“Last run the other day he got bailed up and he needs to be free rolling.

“The run looks better than what it did on paper.

“We were going to have a crack last year, but I thought while he was still young enough we would go through the sprint trips.

“As he’s got older he’s got more dour, but the 2100m will be no problem.”

O’Loughlin has leant on experienced hoop Troy Turner to link up with Wild Fusion.

Turner is no stranger to Albany Cup success after previous wins on Fimmo (1998) and Kinborough (1994).

“He’s in form and rides staying races really well,” O’Loughlin said.

Achieving Albany Cup success holds a lot more than just bragging rights for O’Loughlin, there is a fair amount of emotional attachment.

Victory would honour the memory of his late uncle, Glenn Simpson, who tragically lost his life in a freak motorcycle accident in 2009.

Simpson, a gifted horseman and jockey, rode 176 winners, including three in town.

His guidance and mentorship led to O’Loughlin joining the training ranks six years ago.

“My uncle got me into the game,” O’Loughlin said.

“He never got to win a cup.

“There is a lot of sentimental value around it and it would mean a lot.”

Wild Fusion carries 55kg, a 2 1/2 kg drop on his previous run.

Before final acceptances he has drawn barrier 13.

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