Mingenew races return to traditional home with old heads expected to perform strong in centenary race

Headshot of Jake Santa Maria
Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Plead The Fifth crosses the line first to win the 2021 Mingenew Cup.
Camera IconPlead The Fifth crosses the line first to win the 2021 Mingenew Cup. Credit: Justine Rowe

The Mingenew Cup will celebrate 100 years of racing on Saturday and while there will be plenty of fun and entrainment off the track, the Cup itself will be a hotly contested affair.

After the race was run in Geraldton last year due to COVID, the Cup will return to its traditional home with a six-strong field nominated for the 2000m race.

Last year Perth raider Our Idyll, trained by Tiarnna Robertson, came away with the spoils and she returns again this year with four-year-old gelding Shabalala.

However, the last time the Cup was run in Mingenew, Carnarvon’s Catherine Godden was victorious and foreman Evan Atherton is hopeful a return to the traditional track will bring success for their charger Street Fair.

“I worked on him this week and going into the race I’m quietly confident the old boy might be able to spring a few surprises,” Atherton said.

“I think if he can switch off, he’s shown in his past that he’s got the staying ability to run over the top.”

“He’s raced under Garry Delane before at around the 1200m mark but I think that’s a bit too short for him, he’s one of those horses who needs to warm up and that seems to be around that one mile mark.”

However, Atherton said the old boy in the field, Proxy trained by Delane is one to watch.

“Old Proxy looks strong, he’s won at distances over 2000m before and is a wise old horse,” he said.

“I think Sean Raine’s Graciebird is also one to look out for and I think the mare’s got a little bit up her sleeve.”

Aaron Pateman’s Miette Star, who has two wins this season, could also feature while Mistinguette has also shown good form but both are stepping up in distance.

While Saturday will be a celebration of 100 years of Mingenew races, Atherton’s fondest memory of the track is more recent.

“Seeing Plead the Fifth come home in 2021 with that fantastic run and being able to take the Cup home is definitely the highlight,” he said.

Pre-sale tickets are already sold out for the races but there will be some tickets available at the gate in what is expected to be a capacity crowd.

Gates open from 12pm with the Cup scheduled to run at 5.06pm.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails