Theresa Bateup looking to make the most of home track advantage

Kembla Grange trainer Theresa Bateup will be looking to make the most of her home track advantage as Metropolitan racing hits the Illawarra region on Saturday.

While she is without a runner in Saturday’s $1 million feature The Gong, Theresa Bateup is confident her local runners will make their presence felt on Illawarra’s biggest race day.

Bateup has nominated four runners for Saturday, including last-start winner The Guru and Four Pillars placegetter Divine Breath.

Remaining at 2000m but stepping up again in grade, Bateup believes The Guru is more than capable of building-on from his Melbourne Cup Day win at Randwick.

“He deserved to win that one in town, the form around him was quite good,” Bateup said.

“He ran second a couple starts ago at Warwick Farm behind Torrens, which then went out and won the City Tattersalls and then came out and won The Beauford on Saturday.

“The last time he (The Guru) raced here on his home track 12-months ago, he beat a pretty good one in Duais.

“As long as we don’t get too much rain here, he should be a great chance.”

Another promising talent in Bateup’s stables is four-year-old mare Divine Breath.

Looking to atone her narrow last start defeat in the inaugural running of the $700 000 Four Pillars, the daughter of Scissor Kick lines up as a great chance in Saturday’s Midway Handicap.

Thrilled with her consistent form this campaign, Bateup has no doubt the mare will again put her best ‘hoof’ forward in the 1400m event.

“She’s got a big heart and she’s got ability to go with it,” Bateup said.

“All her runs this preparation have been super. We have just kept raising the bar with her and throwing her in the deep end, and she just keeps measuring up to it.

“She’s shown in the Four Pillars and the Midway before that she’s competitive in this grade and with her being on her home track I’m confident this is the right race for her.”

Bateup’s six-year-old Lope De Vega mare Monegal will also take her place at Kembla Grange on Saturday, contesting the BM 78 over 1400m.

“She actually won this race here off a freshen up last ‘Gong’ day, so we decided to take the same sort of approach with her again this time,” Bateup said.

“Since her last run she’s had two weeks in the paddock, and she’ll now line up and try to make it back-to-back wins in the race.”

Bateup’s fourth nominated runner for Saturday is kiwi gelding Shaka Rock.

The five-year-old was nominated to contest the Midway with stablemate Divine Breath, but due to a poor rating is more than likely to feature on Thursday at Hawkesbury.

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