Colourful Caloundra trainer Mick Mair has declared that only a call of nature can stop glamour sprinter Apache Cat from winning his fifth Group One in the BTC Cup at Doomben on Saturday.
Mair conceded his star colt Swiss Ace, winner of the Group Two Sir Byrne Hart Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm last month, was not in the same class as the baldy-faced Apache Cat.
"The only way we can beat Apache Cat is if he stopped for a shit at the furlong. Then we would nail him," Mair said.
Apache Cat, who brushed aside Reigning To Win and champion sprinter Takeover Target in his Group One TJ Smith victory at Randwick last start, frightened off his opposition when final acceptances were declared for the 1200-metre sprint.
Only seven rivals were paid up for and the barrier draw was not expected to have any great influence with Apache Cat, the dominant $1.45 favourite with TAB Sportsbet, drawing gate four.
Swiss Ace, who has won nine of his 11 starts including the Listed Weetwood Handicap at Toowoomba, drew ideally in gate two while the Bart Cummings-trained Swick will jump from five.
Mair has 80,000 reasons why he decided to take on Apache Cat.
"My horse is fit and well and second prizemoney is worth $80,000 so I'm not going to dodge that," Mair said.
"Swiss Ace isn't in the same class as Apache Cat but there's nowhere for my horse to hide anymore.
"He's only a three-year-old and will get plenty of weight in his races from now on after winning a Group Two race last start."
Mair can't find a chink in Apache Cat's armour and is relying on Doomben's tight turns to toss up a few obstacles.
"Apache Cat should win and hopefully we can run second but things can go wrong in a race," Mair said.
"Who knows, Apache Cat might not handle Doomben. He looked a little awkward when he won at Randwick last time.
"They can all get beaten and he's been beaten before."
However, in an interesting statistic, Apache Cat has not lost a race shorter than 1400 metres since he finished third to the Lee Freedman-trained Bel Danoro in the Listed Aurie's Star (1200m) at Flemington on August 12, 2006.
Apache Cat will again be ridden by Corey Brown, who has been aboard the five-year-old for each of his three Group One victories this season in the Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington, Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley and TJ Smith (1200m) at Randwick.
Michael Rodd was his regular rider last spring but has missed the autumn with illness.
Brown said Apache Cat's BTC Cup barrier draw was ideal.
"He'll be able to do the same thing he did the other day (in the TJ Smith), position himself and pounce when he has to," Brown said.
"He should get the absolute perfect run of the race."
Apache Cat will also be aimed at the Group One Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 24 before connections discuss the possibility of an overseas trip next campaign.
© 2014 Published 07/05/08