Thu, Jan 10, 11:40am by Kevin Pitstock
Preview for Gosford Cup day for Thursday January 10.
R1: Sarah Kong Memorial Maiden Plate (1000m)
A field of 10 maiden runners set to contest the opening race on Gosford Cup Day with the Michael Costa-trained No 7. Stasher coming out on top based on a recent good barrier trial victory. On pedigree alone, No 1. Luther should be the one to beat, but with 59kg he is the second selection. Out of the Group One-winning Danni Martine, Luther resumes here off the back of two trial performances. Joe Pride saddles up debutante No 6. Majestic Reign who recorded a nice trail win recently, while the Darley-owned filly No 10. Pretends should not be discounted after two placed runs back from a spell.
R2: Schweppes Maiden handicap (1200m
Another maiden field here with quite a few well bred gallopers including No 5. Graze a three-year-old son of Exceed And Excel out of the Group One winner Hill Of Grace. Arguably the best bred runner of the day, this gelding should be good each way odds for his debut here – see what is the best price available from Centrebet? No 4. Composition is bound to start a short-priced favourite, and she goes in for second here off the back of a debut second placing over 1000m here a month ago. The Grant Allard stable is in hot form and on his home track, No 10. Knowing looks capable of improving on his last start second over the track and distance. Trainer Guy Walter has four in the race, and another of his runners No 9. Impressive Yield could run a nice race at odds for Blake Shinn.
R3: Turfcare NSW Class 2 Handicap (1100m)
A field of 10 to contest the Class 2 over 110m here with the Matthew Smith-trained No 8. Canny Winsome coming out on top. Finishing under two lengths from the winner first-up, he has been readied for his run here with a recent barrier trial where he finished second behind Malambo, who ran well last weekend. No 1. No Bad Blood a winner of two from nine starts first up here and being unbeaten first up, the Danzero gelding looks a top chance. No 3. Checks, a well-bred Redoute’s Choice gelding is in good recent form, winning last time out over 1000m at Coffs harbour for Bindi Cheers – although stepping up in class here, winning form is good form. Throwing in No 2. Rolston, an Ad Valorem gelding who was a last start third over 1200m.
R4: Listed Gosford RSL Belle Of The Turf Stakes (1600m)
The first of three consecutive Listed races here, with this race for three-year-old and up fillies and mares. With the scratchings we are down to a final field of 10 which still does not make it any easier in an open race. Going the way of the David Hayes-trained No 9. Mabsam, a last start winner over 1620m at Flemington where she defeated Secret Liaison, who came out next start and won a Listed race. Hardest to defeat here could be a combination of the Peter Snowden and Chris Waller trained runners. No 2. Classic, a five-year-old Commands mare is a classy runner on her day and last start she finished two lengths off them in the Group Two Villiers, an effort that should see her well placed here. In form Pivotal mare No 3. Pipette from the Waller yard has won her past two starts over 1800m and 1900m, and if she can cope with the drop back in distance, she would prove a good chance. No 8. Babel, also from the Snowden yard has won her past two in impressive fashion and the Lonhro mare appears ready for a stakes race. From these four we still could have missed the winner as it is quite an open race.
R5: Listed Central Coast Holden Takeover Target Stakes (1200m)
Another Listed race here for the sprinters with many top chances in the field. The flyer, No 3. Zaratone will ensure that there is good pace in the race, and last start he just failed in the Listed Carrington Stakes over 1100m, run down in the shadows of the post by three-year-old filly No Looking Back who is a leading chance in Saturday’s Magic Millions 3YO Guineas race. While he does have two wins over the distance, he will need to get an easy time up front to hold off the back markers. The class runner of the field is the New Zealand Group One winner No 2. Rock ‘N’ Pop, who races here first up for the Gai Waterhouse stable. Having had two trials leading into this, he should have the class to sprint well fresh – watch him late. No 4. Uate mixes his form, but on his day is a capable galloper, indicative of his Group One second to Helmet as a two-year-old. No 6. Soledad is heading to stakes class for the first time and must be respected. With 11 top three finishes from 14 starts, the son of Commands looks a worthy contender.
R6: Listed Gosford Quarries Gosford Gold Cup (2100m)
Last start Listed Tatts Cup winner No 4. Moriarty from the Chris Waller stable is the race favourite here, and while he has a great chance, we lean slightly towards the Gai Waterhouse-trained No 2. Ruben Percival. Having not raced since mid-November when second in the Listed Sandown Cup, the addition of James McDonald to ride the gelding is a master stroke and a win is not out of the question at good odds, and could be marked down as the best Each Way bet of the day – see what odds IASBet are offering? The hardest to beat will be Moriarty, while the Peter Snowden runner No 6. Euryale is an interesting commodity. A Stakes winning juvenile, the mare has a good record, but has just not yet reached the levels expected. A last start third over 2000m in Melbourne, watch for a good showing here. Waterhouse will also saddle up last start winner No 9. Travolta, who has won two from three since joining the stable and he is being touted as a potential Cups horse next season, so should be capable of doing something here.
R7: Sky Racing Benchmark 65 Handicap (1600m)
Smallest field of the day and going with the locally-trained No 2 Shadow Me, a last start second at Scone over 1600m. Only out of a place once in six starts at the track, the five-year-old mare looks a good chance of defeating race favourite No 5. The Rundown. A last start winner over the track and distance, the gelding has not finished further back than fourth in his last five race starts. Guy Walter will saddle up No 8. Cheneclair as the bottom weight and with Blake Shinn in the saddle, the Elusive Quality mare can improve on her disappointing effort last start. No 3. Magnolia Lane, who finished second last time out over the 1600m, could be another to get into the places.
Best Bet: R5, No 3. Zaratone – what odds – Centrebet?
Best Each Way Bet: R6, No 2. Ruben Percival
Best On Breeding: R2, No 5. Graze (Exceed And Excel x Hill Of Grace, by Zabeel)
Hill Of Grace won the Group One Ansett Australia Stakes as well as a further five places at Group One level.
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