Minter strives for Taree Cup success

MISSING a start in Brisbane last Saturday could provide Phillip Minter and Samsili with an unexpected bonus in Sunday’s $60,000 XXXX Gold Taree Cup (2000m) to be run at the Bushland Drive race complex.

Champion jockey Robert Thompson will ride Samsili in Sunday's XXXX Gold Taree Cup at the Bushland Drive track.

Champion jockey Robert Thompson will ride Samsili in Sunday's XXXX Gold Taree Cup at the Bushland Drive track.

Coffs Harbour based Minter admitted the Taree Cup was secondary in his original thoughts for his in-form six-year-old gelding who chases a hat trick of wins on Sunday.

“He went to Brisbane last week but didn’t race when the meeting was called off,” Minter said. “I originally had longer races in mind for him and the Taree Cup was second choice.

“Coming back to 2000 metres could be a tad short for him but I’m hoping he’s fresh enough to handle it.”

Minter admitted the 10-hour round trip to Brisbane took its toll on Samsili.

“He’s a horse that gets wound up when he goes away to race,” he said. “I put him in a yard up there (Brisbane) to try and get him to relax. It was a big outing for him. He took a few days to get over it but he’s back to his normal self now and I’m happy with his condition.

“I’m just hoping the track isn’t too badly rain affected. I’ve got my fingers crossed. He doesn’t handle it much worse than dead.”

Samsili began his career with Peter Moody in Melbourne then was transferred to Minter for one campaign before ending up with Hunter Kilner in Grafton.

“He wasn’t going that good with Hunter and I approached the owners to lease him which they agreed to,” Minter said. “He’s come good again and is racing very well at the moment.”

After a seventh to Queenstown in the Grafton Cup (2350m), Samsili began his winning roll scoring a narrow win over 2100m at Gosford on July 24.

Next time out, the five-time winner from 36 starts, bolted in by 5.8 lengths in a Benchmark 63 event at Coffs Harbour on August 6.

“They were only an average lot at Coffs. I don’t get too carried away with things but he did win very well,” Minter said.

Robert Thompson, who was aboard Samsili at Coffs, has retained the mount. Thompson became available when Coffs Harbour cup winner Southern Shimmer suffered a leg injury.

“Having Robert aboard is always an advantage,” Minter reasoned. “He knows the track and knows the horse.

“Samsili can be a hard puller in his work and in races when he gets cluttered up but Robert knows him and what to expect.

“I’m hoping he can continue his good form.”