Great Southern trainer Steve Wolfe has been walking on air since his star sprinter Red Can Man was locked in for the $4 million The Quokka (1200m) at Ascot on April 15.
The Gingerbread Man gelding is a confirmed starter after Rapid Equine owner Neil Irvine used his slot that was originally intended for Triple Missile. He struck a deal with Red Can Man’s connections when his sprinter was sidelined following surgery for an injured foreleg.
“We are over the moon to announce our stable champ Red Can Man will represent Rapid Equine in The Quokka,” Wolfe said “Massive thanks to Neil and Brian Collison at Rapid Equine. We can’t wait to give Red Can Man a crack at creating history in the richest-ever race in Western Australia.”
Red Can Man (Photo / Western Racepix) was bred by Ellie Giles using Yarradale Stud sire Gingerbread Man over Brocky’s Ace (Surtee) and he was last seen finishing runner-up to Acromantula when racing first-up in the Rock Magic Stakes (1000m) on March 18.
He will be given a final hit-out by Wolfe’s stable jockey and part-time sparring-partner Shaun McGruddy in the G3 Roma Cup (1100m) at Ascot this Saturday. He has opened a $6 second favourite behind Group 1 winning filly Amelia’s Jewel ($2.60).
Wolfe and ‘Shooter’ were also on Cloud 9 last Saturday when Gingerbread Man sprinter Ginger Green won the Alliance Nickel Hcp (1200m) at Ascot. “What a result. He’s as tough-as-nails,” Wolfe said. “He made the most of a few favours to knock off some high-quality opposition.
“It was a huge effort considering the obstacles he’s had to overcome. There were problems with one of his back legs and they said he wouldn’t race again. He’s no superstar but is doing a real good job.”
Gingerbread Man (Shamardal) sired him from Bellbridge Park mare Miss Margene (Flying Spur) who traces back to Group 1 winners Rogan Josh (VRC Melbourne Cup) and Machine Gun Tom (WATC Railway Stakes).
Red Can Man and Ginger Green were purchased by Commercial Bloodstock’s Noel Carter at consecutive Perth Magic Millions for $50,000 apiece. He’s a member of both syndicates and they have banked a combined $1,375,000.
Meanwhile, Neil Irvine said he’s happy to have Red Can Man in The Quokka. “Steve reckons he’s going really well and, although it’s a shame I won’t have my own horse running, it’s good to have another quality sprinter representing Western Australia.”
Irvine did have a consolation of sorts when Proportrait won the Risky Business Wines Maiden (1500m) at Pinjarra on Sunday. The lightly-raced half-brother to G2 Perth Cup winner Guest Wing (Right Wing) looks a 3yo of some promise for his owner-breeder Lex Piper.
Proportrait is a son of Proart who was Irvine’s foundation sire at Balmoral Park in Bedfordale. The Rock Of Gibraltar stallion has yearling half-sisters to Guest Wing and last season’s Hong Kong winner Cigar Buddies (Written Tycoon).