Shaun McGruddy is delighted to be teaming up with leading trainer Adam Durrant and prominent owner Bob Peters in the Wellington & Reeves Albany Cup (2100m).
McGruddy combines with Durrant and Peters’ mare American Joy for the first time, replacing regular rider William Pike, who will not ride the Albany meeting on Sunday.
McGruddy said he is very keen to take advice from Pike, who understands the horse as well as anyone after booting her to victory in two of her past three starts.
The daughter of Americain should get the run of the race from barrier two and carries the 54kg minimum, 3kg less than her second to He’s A Parker.
Tabtouch have her rated a $4 chance and on the second line of betting behind The Big Show, who has been heavily backed into $2.65 favouritism.
He’s A Parker ($4.60), Prying Tom ($5.50) and top weight Red Army ($6) round out runners in single figures.
McGruddy said he was determined to make the most of his opportunities with the powerful Durrant and Peters’ combination.
“I’m very happy to have picked up the ride,” McGruddy told The Races WA.
“I was quick to get on the blower to Adam and from barrier two it gives her every chance.
“Willie told me how to ride her and said she has only got a short kick.
“He told me don’t go until I have to, so barrier two will help.
“Hopefully she can get every chance and get the cash.
“Obviously He’s A Parker will be hard to beat and The Big Show.
“The top weight is a class horse if he shows up.”
Durrant and McGruddy will be out to extend their excellent Albany Cup records.
Durrant has won it on five occasions with Great Destiny (2009-2010), Double Barrel (2011), Hibernian (2013) and Peck (2014).
McGruddy booted home Gimme Me The News (2006) and Jobeth (2012).