A quality black-type card is on-hand at Gosford this Saturday with the running of the Listed Gosford Gold Cup and the Takeover Target.
With rain about earlier in the week, we should be racing on something close to a Soft 5 come race-day with the rail remaining in the true position.
For all of our best bets, be sure to read our 2021 Gosford Gold Cup Preview below.
Race 1 – 11:45am AEDT – Central Coast Granite 2YO Handicap (1200m)
Ranch Hand is a dual acceptor, but if he lines up in this two-year-old contest at Gosford on Saturday he should prove very tough to beat.
Chris Waller’s lightly-raced sprinter was enormous on debut at Warwick Farm in December winning by over three lengths before going on run fifth in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic on the Gold Coast.
His debut win came on the soft, so he might appreciate any extra sting out of the ground in his return to the races.
After a comfortable trial win at Rosehill a couple of weeks ago, he should take a power of beating from the rails run.
Race 2 – 12:20pm AEDT – Benchmark 78 Handicap (1200m)
Rammstein should take improvement into his second-up assignment after being nabbed right on the line by Olympic Legend fresh at Canterbury three weeks ago over the same trip.
The son of Snitzel doesn’t win out of turn, but he does have a good strike rate over 1200m with two wins and three placings on the board.
He’s typically a very honest customer, and with minimal speed on offer, he should be able to run the race on his own terms again from the inside gate.
Race 3 – 12:55pm AEDT – Highway Handicap (1200m)
This is a rise in class for Glenn Milligan’s lightly-raced filly Faatinaat, but it does look a contest she’s capable of winning after finishing strongly through the line last time out at Port Macquarie to win by a nose.
Both of her wins so far have come on the soft, so she should handle the sting out of the track with some rain about earlier in the week.
She won’t know herself carrying just 54kg, and providing Ashley Morgan can park her just behind the speed again, the pair should be somewhere in the finish.
Race 4 – 1:30pm AEDT – Benchmark 72 Handicap (1600m)
This looks an ideal race for Tectonicus to bounce-back after weakening out in the final stages a few weeks ago for third behind Savoury at Canterbury.
That horse went on to run second last week at Hawkesbury, so the form out of that race reads well for Tectonicus getting back to his preferred distance.
The three-year-old by Not A Single Doubt won over the mile on a Heavy 10 at Wyong by a big margin two runs back, so there’s no query on his wet-track form.
With Tim Clark booked to ride from an ideal gate, he should take some beating.
Race 5 – 2:05pm AEDT – Benchmark 78 Handicap (2100m)
So Wicked led them all-the-way two weeks ago at Canterbury over shorter, a performance she’s more than capable of replicating with a 2kg’s off her back under Tommy Berry.
The Street Cry mare found an extra gear last time out to gap her rivals by close to two lengths, and if she can shuffle across early on Saturday and land on the speed, she should again prove tough to run down.
Her wet track form is strong to say the least and I think she can go on with it.
Race 6 – 2:40pm AEDT – Listed Debortoli Wines Takeover Target (1200m)
Only a few to choose from in the Takeover Target, which makes it tough to get away from the short-priced favourite Signore Fox.
The Snowden-trained speedster was a clear winner over this distance first-up at Rosehill in the Group 3 Star Kingdom, before going on to finish only a length fifth to Splintex in the Hall Mark Stakes at Randwick.
He burned punters on more than one occasion last year, so it’s always hard to feel overly confident in him.
That said, this isn’t a very deep race, so as long as Tommy Berry gives him the right ride coming off the speed, he should be winning.
Race 7 – 3:20pm AEDT – Listed Gosford Gold Cup (2100m)
Polly Grey was very competitive over similar distances during the spring, most notably finishing fifth to Orderofthegarter in the Group 3 MRC Foundation Cup over the 2000m at Caulfield.
Chris Waller’s mare has since resumed to run no worse than fifth in four starts, with a win two runs back in the Group 3 Epona Stakes at Rosehill also on her resume.
She returned off a freshen-up to finish only two lengths fourth to Paths Of Glory in JRA Plate at Randwick a fortnight ago, so she should take improvement into this race with some fitness back on her side.
Tommy Berry does have a job to do from barrier 11, but with a wet track more than likely, she should relish the conditions.
Race 8 – 4:00pm AEDT – The Coast (1600m)
Expecting big improvement here from All Saints’ Eve after John O’Shea’s mare found herself too far back last time out in the Queen Of The Turf.
The four-year-old by Sacred Falls had a lot of work to do from out wide that day, but she still showed plenty through the line to finish just under four lengths behind Nettoyer.
Like a few others, this is a big drop back in grade, and providing she doesn’t over-race in the early stages, she should be strong in the finish from an ideal gate.
Race 9 – 4:40pm AEDT – Brook Group F&M Benchmark 78 Handicap (1200m)
No surprise to find April Rain at short odds ahead of her return to the races.
This classy Chris Waller-trained mare resumed to win her maiden by close to four lengths over a similar distance at Canterbury in January before going on to claim her hat-trick at Randwick a month later.
She’ll carry 60kg’s for the first time in her career on Saturday, but based on everything we saw from her last campaign and her most recent trial, she’ll take a power of beating.