Trainer Kim Waugh is confident tough geldings Bethencourt and Ashman are ready for the fight

Trainer Kim Waugh is banking on Bethencourt finally breaking his exasperating run of second placings in the Quayclean Handicap (2000m) at Kembla Grange on Saturday.

Bethencourt has been runner-up in three successive races including a narrow loss at Randwick two weeks ago.

“I thought Bethencourt’s last start run was so gutsy,” Waugh said.

“The horse that beat him had a few kilos less and a softer run but Bethencourt kept trying right to the line. He never gives in.

“He is one of those horses that is just a genuine stayer. He has a big, bold stride and just winds into his races.

“The big track and 2000m at Kembla should be ideal for him but this is a competitive race. He is going great and just needs a bit of luck.”

Kim Waugh’s gutsy grey Bethencourt can break through for a well-deserved win at Kembla on Saturday. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Bethencourt, who will be ridden by Tommy Berry, is at $6.50 and pressing for favouritism behind Crystal Pegasus at $5.

Waugh is also sending last start Randwick winner Ashman to the Kembla Grange meeting for the Elite Sand And Soil Handicap (1400m).

Ashman led most of the way to win a Midway Handicap last start and Waugh said the gelding has continued to thrive and goes to this race in peak form and fitness.

“I couldn’t be happier with how this horse is going,” Waugh said.

“Like Bethencourt, he’s a real fighter. They were coming at him in the straight last start and I though they had their chance to grab him but he surged again in the last 100m.”

Ashman has drawn ideally in barrier four and Waugh expects the six-year-old to settle on speed again.

“He has so much natural pace, he pings the lids,” she said.

Ashman has firmed from $10 into $8 for a competitive Kembla closer where the Team Hawkes-trained Pale King is the $4.40 favourite.

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Originally published asWaugh’s duo are up for the challenge

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