Winkers could give Kalgoorlie Cup starter Friar Fox an edge

Strapper Nikita Barber with Friar Fox shown here wearing the blinkers trainer Justine Erkelens has replaced with winkers in the all the mare’s races since July. Picture: Anita McInnes

IF Friar Fox continues her successful run in the Goldfields by winning the Kalgoorlie Cup (2200m) today the decision to race her in winkers could have played a big part.

Trainer Justine Erkelens of Muchea said since the start of her career Friar Fox had always worn blinkers so maybe she had become a bit complacent in them.

In July Erkelens sent Friar Fox out in winkers for the Crown Perth Handicap and this morning Yanchep News Online asked if the gear change had played any role in her good form since then.

“Yeah I think it does,’’ she said.

She said if Friar Fox could see a bit more then maybe she was not so complacent.

Winkers still limit a horse’s vision behind them but allow them better side vision.

Erkelens said Friar Fox was in great shape for the race this afternoon.

“She’s pulled up a treat from the Boulder Cup.

“It’s her third trip here and she’s settled in straight away.’’

After today’s race Erkelens said Friar Fox would go home to Muchea where she lives in a paddock to have a couple of weeks to freshen up.

Her next aim for the six-year-old mare is to head for the Perth Cup.

The daughter of Blackfriars and Pearlesque goes into the Kalgoorlie Cup as second favourite behind Divine Shadow.

In the Boulder Cup (2105m) on September 20 Friar Fox got the edge on Divine Shadow who also went into the race as the favourite.

Before that on September 6 second-placed Friar Fox also finished in front of Divine Shadow in the Coolgardie Cup (1760m) behind the favourite Western Temple.

Earlier this campaign on July 18 at Belmont Park Friar Fox finished eighth in the Perth Racing Club Membership Handicap (2000m).

One of the horses to beat her home was Divine Shadow who finished third.

Both runners carried 58kg that day with Divine Shadow starting from barrier 10 while Friar Fox jumped from gate three.

Today Divine Shadow has been allocated 54kg and has drawn barrier four compared with Friar Fox who will carry 56kg and start from barrier seven.