Best Hoffa on track for Cups campaign

In-form stayer Best Hoffa will take another step towards defending his Mackay Cup crown when the rising nine-year-old starts in the Open Handicap at Townsville on Thursday.

Best Hoffa is trained in Townsville by Alby Molino and has won two of his past three starts for promising Brisbane-based apprentice Marnu Potgieter.

Best Hoffa gave Molino his biggest win of his career when the son of Bon Hoffa won last year's Mackay Cup on the eve of his eighth birthday.

He then ran a game seventh in the Townsville Cup to the John Manzelmann-trained Shiranda, followed by a second in the Cairns Cup won by Paniagua.

"It was a great thrill to win the Mackay Cup but he got too far back in the Townsville Cup and was only beaten just over three lengths," Molino said.

"He then ran second in the Cairns Cup after he had to come down the outside while the winner Paniagua got a rails run."

Best Hoffa is coming off a last start win in an 1800-metre Open at Mackay on May 29.

Molino is confident of another strong performance but is disappointed Best Hoffa has been forced to drop back to 1400 metres in a crucial lead-up to the Mackay Cup over 2000 metres on July 24.KY MUSIC

"I've had to bring him back in distance to 1400 metres after he won over 1800 metres last time," Molino said.

"It's not ideal, but unfortunately, there's no suitable races over longer for him."

Molino only became full-time six years ago after starting training as a hobby 16 years ago.

He works for Ergon Energy as an emergency response crew member which enables him to continue to train full time.

The trainer has 10 horses in work near the Townsville track and is awaiting for on course stabling.

"I've got 10 in work at the moment but I'll have 20 by the time the course stables open," he said.

Best Hoffa is one of the three horses Molino trains for well-known north Queensland racing identity Tom Hedley.

Hedley also part owns former north Queensland cult figure The Harrovian who finished an unlucky fifth in the Group One Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm this month.

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