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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis

TOUGH VICTORIAN BACK FOR ANOTHER CRACK AT CUP


WEDNESDAY, May 1, 2024: HAWKESBURY’S annual Saturday metropolitan fixture last year attracted Victorian visitor Just Folk, who ran fourth in the Group 3 Richmond Club Hawkesbury Gold Cup.

And he’ll be back again on Saturday for another crack at the $250,000 1600m feature – but this time with a different trainer.

Cranbourne trainer Gavin Bedggood purchased Just Folk online for $199,000 last July after his previous trainer Josh Julius retired, and is planning a two-State mission with the hardy seven-year-old gelding.

“Just Folk will be floated overnight on Thursday to Rosehill, and we’re really pleased to have been able to book Nash Rawiller for the Cup,” Bedggood said on Wednesday evening, en route home from the second day of the Warrnambool carnival (where Rawiller rode debutante La Pleine Lune to a stunning nine lengths’ victory in the 2YO Handicap, 1200m for Team Hayes).

“After Hawkesbury, Just Folk will stay in Sydney and go to Queensland later in the week for the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Sunshine Coast (transferred from the Gold Coast) next Saturday.

“The forecast is for wet weather on the Sunshine Coast next week, and I won’t mind at all if Hawkesbury gets rain as well.”

Hawkesbury Race Club chief executive on Wednesday evening reported no rain had been recorded at the track, which had a “Good 4” rating.

“Some rain is expected on Friday and Saturday, but the forecast was very ordinary earlier in the week and keeps getting better,” Heddo said.

“The fields are outstanding, and we have declared six emergencies for both the Cup and Group 3 Pioneer Services Hawkesbury Crown (1300m), and four for the Group 3 Blacktown Workers Club Group Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) as insurance in case more rain than expected arrives.”

Bedggood’s Just Folk is no stranger to travelling. He has already raced in four States, and won at home and South Australia, but is yet to score in New South Wales and Queensland.

“Even though we bought him last year as a rising seven-year-old, he has already been a good money-spinner for his new owners,” Bedggood said.

“Just Folk has started seven times for us, and his worst result was finishing sixth in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill in March.”

The gelding’s victory in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield last December, along with prizemoney collected at his six other runs under Bedggood’s care, sent his earnings to nearly $278,000 since being purchased.

Six of Just Folk’s seven career wins have been on rain-affected ground (three on soft and three on heavy).

He lines up for the Hawkesbury assignment at his third run this preparation, having finished a close third in the Listed Bendigo Mile last time out on April 13.

Just Folk carried 57.5kg when fourth to New Mandate in last year’s Hawkesbury Cup, and will carry the same weight on Saturday with Rawiller expected to ride him 0.5kg over his allotted 57kg.

In a wide open Cup, trainer Ciaron Maher’s trio head the betting.

Detonator Jack (Josh Parr) was $4 favorite with TAB.com.au on Wednesday evening, ahead of stablemates Nugget (Tyler Schiller) at $5 and Berkshire Shadow (Dylan Gibbons) at $7.50.

Just Folk was listed as a $9 chance.

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