Trainer Julia Martin hoping Lisa Staples & Galaxy Blaze can reunite for Walkaway Cup at Geraldton Turf Club

Headshot of Reuben Carder
Reuben CarderMidwest Times
Julia Martin and Galaxy Blaze after winning the 2020 Mingenew Cup.
Camera IconJulia Martin and Galaxy Blaze after winning the 2020 Mingenew Cup. Credit: Jackson Flindell/The Sunday Times

Trainer Julia Martin is hoping to have a winning pair back in action this month as the Geraldton Turf Club closes out its year with one of the biggest events on the calendar.

She’s hoping to partner jockey Lisa Staples up with Galaxy Blaze again when the Walkaway Cup runs on December 27.

Staples completed a hat-trick of wins — in successive races — on the 10-year-old on Sunday in race four.

“I hope I can get Lisa again, but we’ll see how we go,” Martin said.

“There’s other horses she’s won on as well. Fingers crossed.”

WA-based Staples — originally from Sweden — said she enjoyed the day and was hoping for a ride in the cup.

“It felt pretty good,” Staples said.

“I’ve had a treble here, but it was a few years ago. I’ve been doing every meeting here this season.”

Staples won a maiden on Big Pickle in race two for Walkaway-based trainer Robert Martin. It was the six-year-old’s third run in WA.

She then won race three on seven-year-old Admiral Husson for Kevin Backshall.

Backshall said Admiral Husson and Nippa Whiskey would probably go around again on cup day, but would not be in the feature.

He said Nippa Whiskey, in particular, had a lot to learn.

“He’s (Nippa Whiskey) still very green and doing a lot of things wrong,” Backshall said.

“We’ll try some gear changes, but he’s one of those horses that keeps doing everything wrong.”

Jeffrey Martin, Big Pickle’s owner, said it was good to see the six-year-old get the win but he would not be moving up too far in class.

“He hasn’t had a run in a long time, so it’s pretty good,” Martin said.

“He’s had bad feet, and it’s taken a long while to get them right.”

Local trainers won all of the races on the day in the last industry meet before the cup.

Geraldton-based trainers dominated, winning all but one race.

Natasha Faithfull saluted on six-year-old Take Another Look for trainer Peter Moses in race one. Four-year-old I’m A Bush Chook won race eight with Bunbury-based Kyra Yuill aboard.

Faithfull was a winner again in race five, piloting 11-year-old-Quality Fair for trainer Ken Nightingale.

Five-year-old Sans Le Sou won race six for Gordon Spowart, with Andrew Castle aboard.

Seven-year-old Highest Regard was the winner for Walkaway-based trainer Graeme Hammarquist in race seven. Yuill was aboard for her second win of the day.

Spowart and Hammarquist have won the last two Walkaway Cups. Yuill won the race on Hammarquist-trained Freez’emoff in 2019 and on Strong Heart for Spowart in 2020.

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