Jason Magri knows a thing or two about celebrating a November milestone, both on and off the racetrack.
The Kemps Creek trainer has a birthday this week and in recent years he’s made a habit of adding some particularly sweet icing to his cake in the Goulburn Workers Club Cup, having won the race in 2011 with Loathsome and last year with Clock’s Ticking.
Magri will boast three prominent contenders in Tuesday afternoon’s Goulburn Cup heats; with boom Queensland import Tristan Cannon (pictured) spearheading his assault on back-to-back victories in the Cup, which is offering an increased winner’s purse of $15,000.
Magri netted $5000 and $10,000 respectively courtesy of his previous two Cup triumphs.
The sparingly-raced Tristan Cannon has created a huge impression since relocating to NSW mid-year, winning five of his seven starts under Magri’s guidance, with the Goulburn Cup representing his greatest test since venturing south.
“Tristan Cannon is a very good one-turn dog,” Magri said.
“I think there could be a nice one-turn race in him at some stage, but he still has to learn how to race and he also gets very wound up in the kennels, which I’m slowly working out.
“Tristan Cannon’s owner, Mark Sultana, had the dog up in Queensland, but his trainer, Greg Brennan, advised Mark to send him down to NSW to race on the horse-shoe tracks because they don’t have any horse-shoe tracks up in Queensland.
“He’s really excelled since I’ve had him. He’s won his last three starts and he’s nearly broken the track record at Maitland in his last two wins. His owner is very happy with how he’s going; that’s the main thing!”
Magri’s three-pronged Goulburn arsenal will also include veteran Wicked Warrior, a multiple Group finalist that was eliminated in the Cup heats last year as an odds-on favourite and is on the comeback trail after injury, and last start Wentworth Park winner Bad Boy Joe.
All three boast excellent strike rates, with Tristan Cannon the winner of 10 of his 20 starts, while Wicked Warrior has won 19 from 38 and Bad Boy Joe eight of 19.
“Wicked Warrior injured a back muscle and was out for four or five months,” Magri explained.
“He came back and won first-up at Bulli and he’s going as good as he can at this stage of his career. It’s more about getting his confidence back now.
“It’s very hard to compare these dogs with my Goulburn Cup winners. Loathsome and Clock’s Ticking were both very handy dogs.
“Tristan Cannon, Wicked Warrior and Bad Boy Joe are all going very well, but their chances will depend on where they draw and I believe Goulburn is a track where you have to begin. You can come from behind there, but not against these dogs.”