Old Legs ready to carry out the Cup
COOMINYA trainer Lyn Paton is confident her winter specialist Legsman can turn back the clock and win the Gatton Cup tomorrow.
Legsman has come a long way to end up on Paton's training property in Coominya.
Originally bought for $105,000 in New Zealand in 2007, he raced most of his career for top trainer John O'Shea in Sydney.
The highlight was winning the $100,750 Winter Cup over 2400m at Rosehill on June 4, 2011.
Ironically enough, Legsman has been plagued by leg problems - but his name comes from his sire Pins - and he was sold to Paton for $6250 in December 2012.
He's nine now but it's a fair bet none of the other horses tomorrow will ever win a race like the Winter Cup and his career earnings of about $360,000 are only a tad less than the combined total of his rivals'.
Paton says everything looks good for tomorrow after he was given topweight of 59kg and drew barrier two with Chris Maund aboard.
"I think he's got a really good chance, especially since we've got our same jockey back on him who won on him two starts ago at Toowoomba. So, yeah, very excited about his prospects," Paton said.
"We'll let him judge his own speed and pace and go from there."
The trainer, whose property is called Paradise Lodge and who has made a habit of buying tried horses for a bargain, said she took some time to work out Legsman.
"He had a lot of problems and bowed tendons and all this sort of thing. It's taken a while to put him back together, she said.
"This prep, even though he's nine years old, he's going better than ever. He's back to sort of something like the Legsman he was where he's got a bit more acceleration at the end now. He's not just plugging away.
She said Legsman seems to be happier racing when it's cooler.
"He's a bit of a hyped-up horse in the summer months but he seems to put in better at the races when it's cooler days," she said.
"My facilities here have helped a lot. I do occasionally ride him but he doesn't get ridden every day so I think that's helped him.
We've got the pool and the walker and we work them beside the car so you don't have to have riders on their back and I think that got him through his leg issues and we just try to keep him fresh. They live in quarter acre paddocks out here and they don't have the stresses of stable life for the city horses.
"We haven't got far to go to Gatton either. It's only a half hour away so he'll get there nice and fresh."