Gold Trail spot on for Telegraph
The dominant Railway Stakes victory by Sydney sprinter Gold Trail has not been enough to convince New Zealand punters he can make it a double in Saturday’s Telegraph Handicap.
But try telling that to his trainer Gary Portelli.
"The horse has come on and if they couldn’t beat us last start I don’t know how they’re going to," Portelli said.
"The last 50 metres is always the worry with him but the track is downhill so it shouldn’t be a problem."
Gold Trail, who races as A Gold Trail across the Tasman, was at $8.50 on the New Zealand TAB’s fixed odds markets on Thursday after drawing barrier eight.
He will be one of two Australian-trained runners in the field of 17 along with the Danny O’Brien-prepared Keano ($21) who fared well with gate three.
Wealth Princess, who will jump from 10, is the $4.50 favourite ahead of Mufhasa ($7) who will have to overcome a wide draw in 14 while $8 chance Coup Align will start from 11.
"I suppose the weight of money is what determines the price and the locals fancy their chances of beating us," Portelli said.
"That’s fine with me, I don’t mind being the underdog."
Gold Trail was regarded as an 1100 metre specialist in Australia where he posted six wins over the distance.
He had not won over 1200 metres until overcoming a wide alley to lead throughout in the Group One Railway Stakes at Ellerslie last start and he will again attempt to extend his brilliance to that journey at Trentham on Saturday.
Michael Rodd will reunite with Gold Trail in the Telegraph Handicap in what will be a busy weekend for the 2007 Melbourne Cup-winning hoop.
Rodd will ride Here De Angels for Mark Kavanagh in the Group Two Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night before flying to New Zealand on Saturday morning.
He has proven a lucky charm for Portelli in major races having ridden the Warwick Farm trainer’s two Group One winner to date – Rena’s Lady in the 2007 AJC Australian Oaks and Gold Trail in the Railway.
By Mandy Cottell