Highway winner ready to strike again at the Bega Cup quest

Two talented and innovative gallops will battle it out on the Sapphire Coast on Sunday in one of the strongest Bega Cup fields in many years.

On Showcase day two of the popular South Coast Carnival, the state capital’s newest star, Trooper Knuckle, will shoot for a fifth win from his last six starts in the mile feature on a fixed track and packed course.

Trainer Keith Dryden shows no sign of taking his foot off the pedal for the US-bred five-year-old, who has been competing for the seventh time since late October.

Trooper Knuckle (green cap) wins a highway at Rosehill in the final start.

Trooper Knuckle (green cap) wins a highway at Rosehill in the final start.Credit:Getty

Trooper Knuckle needed a tough first track win at Queanbeyan in early November to turn the corner.

He then snapped in consecutive Benchmark 58 races at the same track before finishing well to beat all of the winner’s bars in a good Benchmark 70 federal race at home.

But the next big step came two weeks ago when the stable ventured into Rosehill for a Class 3 highway and he duly tracked speed before storming home late.

And the form of that victory keeps getting stronger. Stablemate Eastern Glow stormed home to take third on the Class 3 Highway at Rosehill yesterday, edging out well-backed favorite King Of Spades who had finished fourth behind Trooper Knuckle.

A big challenge awaits Trooper Knuckle of the Joseph Jones stable with the top-flight four-year-old Manderboss knocking on the door in fourth after being consistently in and around the money up to the Metropol class benchmark 78 since last November.

Throw tough provincial mare Divine Prophet, deep in her preparation, and hardened four-year-old This’llbetheone from the stables of John O’Shea in Randwick under a multitude of chances and it’s a trophy that threatens to become one strong shape reference for the coming months.

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/racing/highway-winner-ready-to-knuckle-down-again-in-bega-cup-quest-20230128-p5cg5p.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_sport Highway winner ready to strike again at the Bega Cup quest

Ryan Sederquist

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