Murwillumbah preview: Matthew McGuren goes through his bumper book of rides

It’s Murwillumbah Cup day and Matthew McGuren, who has ridden a heap of winners at the venue, said punters could back most horses with confidence.

“With the track being on the firmer side it will play very fair,” McGuren said.

“You do want to be in the first half of the field. It’s hard to come right from the rear if it’s a firm track.

“Most of my horses will be midfield or better so I’m lucky. It’s not a leader’s track by any means but you don’t want to be making up six lengths at the corner.”

McGuren rides a stack of Matthew Dunn’s horses including Ready To Humble in the $50,000 Cup over 1550m.

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The Rubick five-year-old has won five from 12 with three placings and McGuren guided him to his first two career wins last autumn but hasn’t been on him since.

“He’s either got his head in front or he’s nowhere to be seen but I’m looking forward to getting back on him again because I’ve had a bit of success on him,” he said.

“He’s hopefully got his confidence back after an easy kill in a Class 4 last start on the Gold Coast.”

He’ll jump from barrier one and probably sit in behind the leaders before pouncing at his home track where he’s never raced at before.

“Horses like Nothingforthepress want a wet track and Willo Titto usually likes the sting out of it as well and it’s got to lump a fair bit of weight so Ready To Humble is very well placed with a winnable weight on his home track,” McGuren said.

In the Murwillumbah Newmarket, McGuren rides Xanthus – a horse of Dunn’s he has had virtually nothing to do with but what give him confidence is his past runs.

“He’s got city Sydney form and has won Saturday races in Queensland too so that form is good enough for this race,” McGuren said.

“Everything else in the race has to step up where this horse only has to go as well as it did last preparation.”

Italian Princess is a horse McGuren knows having ridden her at her past two races which included a win at Lismore and a luckless fourth last start.

“We were slow away last start and off a soft draw I was forced to ride her cold. She’s drawn the gun gate (1) on Friday,” McGuren said.

“She’s only a little mare but she does try hard and she’s only got to hold her form to be competitive in this.”

McGuren also rides The Crown in the third race and he was on her when she debuted at Lismore last start and won as a $7 chance for Matthew Dunn.

She’s battling it out with stablemates Courageous and Emma Rosa for favouritism.

“I was a little bit of a surprise win but she had a good run in transit and we’ve drawn reasonably similar this time,” McGuren said.

“She’s going to improve and the horse that she beat, Mullumova, I’ve got a bit of time for that too.

“It’s not an overly strong race this time either and she’ll have natural improvement from the other day where she learned a lot so hopefully it’s onward and upwards.

“She’ll get every chance.”

Shorter trips can bring out Amirykal’s best

Amirykal has won three times from 17 starts with nine placings but her trainer Daniel Bowen knows she’s better than that and can show it starting on Friday at Murwillumbah.

The five-year-year lines up in the Murwillumbah Newmarket Handicap (1200m) third-up off a second placing first-up and a forgettable 10th last start at Coffs Harbour.

“She got smashed at the start in her last run then races four wide with no cover with 60.5kg so forget that,” Bowen said.

“She could come out and win three of four in a row. If she gets some luck she can go on with it and win a few races this preparation.

“She’s got an inside gate and will be up on the speed. It’s not the best field for a Newmarket and it’s my job to find her that race.”

Daniel Bowen will keep Amirykal to sprint trips. Picture: Susanna FreymarkSource:News Regional Media

Bowen’s plan to improve Amirykal’s winning rate is to keep her to the sprint trips which is where she’s at her best and from barrier two Kirk Matheson can position her right in the firing line.

“We were trying to get her to the Country Championships but she’s just not that type of horse. The 1400m is just a bit far for her,” Bowen said.

“Even after this race, I wouldn’t be surprised if she came back to a 1000m race.

“I think that strike rate will improve because if she hasn’t won she’s run placings and to be fair she has beat herself a couple of times. She’s always been a bit funny in the gates and can miss the kick a bit.”

She’s only run once at this track for a second placing and if she’s to win she’ll have to be good enough to defeat the likes of Superbowl Sunday, Rari and Dollson.

“She’s going as good as she ever has and if she begins well she’ll be hard to beat,” Bowen said.

“Her work has been the best she’s put in for a long time so I’m pretty happy with her. Whatever beats her is the winner.

“She’s just been a bit unlucky and has run into some good horses.”

Originally published asMurwillumbah preview: Punters can fill their boots

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