Trainer Ashley Maley believes Sluice Box could be vulnerable in this afternoon’s Coolgardie Tire Service-Coolgardie Cup (1760m) despite being backed by punters.
Scratching pre-race favorite Savage One, the Stephen Miller-trained Sluice Box and No Apology currently share the same billing ($3) in the Tabtouch markets.
Sluice Box continues to be the first for Ashley Maley after a campaign that started in January and ended in July saw three wins and three placings from 14 starts.
The Coolgardie Cup is the first leg of the Goldfields treble for Sluice Box, with the Boulder Cup (2100m) and Kalgoorlie Cup (2200m) finish races for seven-year-olds.
Maley expects Sluice Box to be competitive in the Coolgardie Cup but believes he will come into his own as he steps up in more places.
“This will be his warm-up for Boulder and the Kalgoorlie Cup,” Maley told The Races WA.
“1760m isn’t ideal, but I think once he gets on more ground, once he’s had a few runs, I think he’ll be extremely hard to beat in the Kalgoorlie Cup.
“I think he’ll need a run; his main focus is the Kalgoorlie Cup.
“He eased up a bit and this is the first one back in a while.
“The 1760 might test him a bit after the long travel but he’s a tough horse and we’ll see how he goes.
Sluice Box makes it to barrier 5 with Savage One from the plant.
Shaun Mcgruddy comes on to replace Shaun O’Donnell.
“Shooter (Shaun) probably has the best record at the Sluice Box,” Maley said.
“And he’d love to ride him in the Kalgoorlie Cup.
“He hasn’t won the Kalgoorlie Cup yet and he really wants to.
“He said Sluice Box could be the horse to win it.
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