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McKerlie dreaming big with Grinzinger Star

Grinzinger Star will have the weight of the city on his shoulders when the tackles Sunday’s $32,000 Port Augusta Cup (2300m).

The top local galloper was allocated 65kg by Racing SA Handicappers and will still carry 62kg after the claim for his rider Lachlan Overall, but he has a perfect barrier and brilliant local record in his favour.

After starting his career with Danny O’Brien, Grinzinger Star was shifted to South Australia and went winless in his first nine starts.

He found his was to Kylie McKerlie via an Inglis Online Auction in 2021 and has more than justified the $18,000 decision that caused the trainer to second guess herself at the time.

“When we looked at the final price I thought 'oh, gosh, what have I done,'’’ McKerlie said.

In 14 starts he’s won seven races including the Quorn, Hawker and Kimba Cups, while running third in the Port Lincoln Cup in March and banking his new owners $91,350 in the process.

But despite his success there is one race the stable would love to win the most.

“The only Cup we haven’t won is the Port Augusta Cup, so fingers cross we get there,’’ McKerlie said.

“We’ve had one in it for the last seven (or) eight years and have never taken it out, so finger crossed it’s this year,’’ she said.

Grinzinger Star will be trying to give in-form apprentice Lachlan Overall, who is unbeaten in three rides on the horse, the biggest win of his short riding career and the Port Augusta feature is set to highlight the next generation of SA riding talent with nine of the 12 runners to be ridden by apprentice jockeys.

Tickets are still available for Sunday's City of Port Augusta Cup through Moshtix.

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