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Country Cups for Big Mike

Cambridge trainer Craig Phelan has jetted into Melbourne to oversee his hardy stayer Big Mike tackle Wednesday’s Kyneton Cup (2000m).
The natural front-runner will race as Our Big Mike on Wednesday and Phelan is pleased with the way the six-year-old has settled into his Victorian surrounds.
“He travelled over really well and has settled in at Cranbourne,” Phelan said.
“We’re staying with Peter and Rachael Cunningham which is great. Pete’s an ex-Kiwi jockey. Half the battle is won if you’ve got somewhere to stay with people you know and can trust.”
Phelan hasn’t made firm plans for Big Mike’s campaign and will get a better gauge as to where he sits following the Kyneton Cup.
“We thought we’d go over and chase some of the country cups, the prizemoney is outstanding,” he said.
“We’ll just see how we go with this first run, but if he is competitive there are races like the Pakenham Cup or even the Ballarat Cup which we can pick away at.”
Big Mike performed well in three runs at the recent Hawke’s Bay Carnival, finishing runner-up behind Melbourne Cup-runner Sir Charles Road at his first outing, before placing behind subsequent stakes winner Five To Midnight.
At his most recent performance, he was sixth to Savvy Coup in the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m)
Big Mike has drawn barrier 10 in the A$125,000 Cup and will be ridden by Michael Dee.

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