Sniper On Target For Another Cup

Jan 28, 2017

Brian Gentle might become the accidental picnic cups king.

The former Sydney trainer didn't know much about picnic racing on arrival in Bendigo, but owner Peter O'Dea soon steered him in the right direction.

Now, Gentle has the form horse of the picnic cup trail in his stable, and Nine Mile Sniper is on track for more.

The seven-year-old gelding took out the Merton and Dederang Cups at his last two, and will be looking for a hat-trick of cups on Saturday in the Rothwells Yea Cup.

Gentle said Nine Mile Sniper had already reached his goal, this campaign by winning the Dederang Cup.

" We actually bought Nine Mile Sniper for the Dederang Cup last year, but things didn't go to plan heading in to the race and he didn't run, but this year all went to plan for Nine Mile Sniper this year and we were able to pull off the Dederang Cup last start "he said

"His owner (O'Dea) is from up there and his sister who also shares in the ownership, lives just 5klm from the track. To win the Dederang Cup was more important than winning a race in the city'

"He's got a horse may go to Flemington but he has already said he's going to Yea, but he lives just 15 minutes from Flemington."

Nine Mile Sniper looks likely to carry top weight in the Yea Cup field that will include stable mate Luskin Belle.

Luskin Belle was also purchased by O'Dea for a crack at the Dederang Cup, but couldn't get a start in the cup due to a lack of riders. It's the kind of issue, unique to the picnics, that Gentle has had to adjust to.

"I'm originally from Sydney, so the picnics are very new to me" he said

"I do quite enjoy going there. A lot of the time there's more people at the picnics than at the city meetings. It's a great atmosphere.

"To be honest, I think the clubs I've been to are a credit to themselves and the industry. They run a race meeting like it's a professional meeting and they're all friendly and can't do enough for you, especially considering these meetings are run by volunteers "

"They do a terrific job "

It was a case of close but no cigar for Brian Gentle earlier in the week at Kilmore.

Followers of the Gentle stable would have had a handy collect each way when Ubersonic Empress at $31 and Luskin Bell at $21 both finished second in their respective races.

It's worth noting that stablemate Ribbon Of Choice hold an early nomination for the March 4 Australian Guineas