It’s A Virtue, left, can give Jule de Smet the Wagga feature double after New Edge won the Town Plate in 2007. Photo: Katherine GriffithsWith a Town Plate already under his belt, Canberra trainer Jules de Smet is hoping patience is a virtue when it comes to this year’s listed Wagga Gold Cup.
It’s A Virtue is his hope in this year’s 2000m feature in the two-day Wagga carnival, which starts on Thursday.
De Smet won the other feature, the Town Plate (1200m), with New Edge in 2007 and would love to complete the double in the Gold Cup on Friday.
He rated the son of Starcraft “an each-way chance” in the $140,000 race, but felt the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Gypsy Diamond was the horse to beat.
De Smet took a punt on It’s A Virtue when he bought the six-year-old gelding at the Easter sales.
X-rays revealed It’s A Virtue had a problem with his hocks, but the Canberra trainer was encouraged to buy him anyway by one of the ACT’s best judges, Barbara Joseph.
“He didn’t pass all his x-rays at the Easter Sales and he didn’t race until late, so patience is a virtue … that’s how he got his name,” de Smet said. “Barbara Joseph actually told me to go and look at him, she said he’d be worth a punt.
“[New Edge] won a Town Plate … so let’s hope I can get the double.”
It’s A Virtue won a spot in the Gold Cup after finishing in a dead heat with Cardiff Prince in the Murrumbidgee Cup (1800m) two weeks ago.
The Starcraft gelding then finished seventh in the Country Cup (2000m) at Wagga last Tuesday, five lengths behind Joe Cleary’s Landlocked.
Cleary has Glen Boss on board as he goes for three wins in a row with Landlocked, a streak that includes the Gundagai Cup (1800m).
“He’s racing really, really well and this is the race I targeted him for,” Cleary said.
“He gets in good at the weights [54.5kg] and his work on Monday was outstanding so it’s my best chance to win a Wagga Cup … fingers crossed we can get some fun vouchers and come home.”
The Kurt Goldman-trained Canberra Cup winners Faust (2015) and Court Connection (2013) will also run in the Gold Cup.
Matthew Dale will go for his third straight victory in the $100,000 Town Plate on Thursday.
The past two years Unanimously has won it and this year the young Canberra trainer has Meticulously entered.
Laurie’s Love, Got The Goss, Stolen Kisses and Highly Geared (emergency) are the other Canberra and Queanbeyan runners in the Plate.