Straight Albert claims Gosford Cup

 Straight Albert claims Gosford CupSydney’s summer staying find Straight Albert continued his rise to prominence with a convincing victory in Thursday’s Listed Gosford Gold Cup.

Aided by an outstanding Kathy O’Hara ride from an inside gate, the well-backed Straight Albert ($3.80 fav) notched his fourth straight victory as he held off Wazn ($8.50) by three-quarters of a length with Legsman ($8.50) a neck away third.

The four-year-old gelding has taken giant strides this preparation since joining Guy Walter’s Warwick Farm team and his Gosford Gold Cup (2100m) success added to his last start victory in the Listed Tatt’s Cup.

Walter is still undecided where to head next with the rapidly-improving stayer but a late Sydney autumn carnival and then Brisbane winter preparation aimed at the Group One Doomben Cup could be on the cards.

“He’ll have a let-up now and may come back for the latter part of the autumn and winter,” Walter said.

“It was a wonderful ride. Kathy planned to get off the rail going out of the straight because she felt there was going to be a lot of speed in the race.

“I thought she rode him superbly. She wanted to give him room because he takes a while to wind up, but he’s in wonderful form and he’s just a nice horse getting better and better.”

O’Hara summed the race up perfectly with a wall of horses charging to the first turn.

Straight Albert settled midfield from the inside draw but O’Hara quickly got off the fence as Legsman worked around the field to take up the running.

As the field approached the home turn Straight Albert worked his way into contention and after straightening moved up to take over from Legsman.

Wazn tried but couldn’t reel in Straight Albert giving Walter his second Gosford Cup success.

“Things worked out perfectly today,” O’Hara said.

“I thought the key was getting off the fence during the run and it worked out that we got the run at the right time and the horse did the rest.

“He has progressed phenomenally. He always showed he had ability when he came to Guy’s but he’s come on in leaps and bounds.”

Jim Cassidy, rider of Legsman, was full of praise for the stayer’s effort to hold on for third after working hard to find the lead.

“It was a sensational effort, he’s the toughest horse I’ve ridden outside of Might And Power,” Cassidy said.

“He’s just a bulldog and just wants to keep giving. He was coming back on the line.”