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2024 Port Augusta Cup Preview

Fair Legacy’s love for the dirt will be fully tested when the in-form mare tackles Sunday’s $40,000 City of Port Augusta Cup (2300m).

The Justin Pickering-trained four-year-old has found her niche having gone from a maiden in mid-May to Cup contender on the back of four consecutive Port Augusta wins.

Pickering, who has trained 22 winners (and 24 placings) from 95 runners this season, said there was no reason why she can’t continue that form on Sunday having drawn perfectly in barrier three.

“We actually spoke about it before going up there for her maiden, if she wins that, maybe she can win a Port Augusta Cup and here we are,’’ Pickering said.

“After she won her maiden so impressively, we thought we’ll go there again and she won again.

“She’s seems to really like the surface and I can see no reason why she can’t run well again on Sunday.

“She’s carried her form well through the preparation. It’s obviously a harder field, but I think she’s up to it,’’ he said.

Pickering has resisted the urge to put the mare back on the turf, her Port Augusta form also opening up some potential options next campaign.

“I’ve never travelled a horse to Darwin so that might be a big ask at the end of a campaign,’’ Pickering said.

“A race like the Alice Spring Cup could be an option for her next year,’’ he said.

Shiny Rock is another horse unbeaten in four runs at Port Augusta which includes last year’s feature.

He’ll be partnered by in-form apprentice Tala Hutchinson, while the 2022 Cup winner Grinzinger Star has missed place just once in eight runs at Port Augusta.

Will Clarken and Niki O’Shea will chase their first Port Augusta Cup win in partnership, Clarken having won the race as a jockey back in 2006 before claiming Cup success as a trainer in 2020 with Handsome Return.

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