Barriers haven’t been kind to Australian Bloodstock in this year’s $160,000 Carlton Draught Wyong Gold Cup but director Luke Murrell still considers they are a chance of taking out the 2100m Listed race.
The syndicators have four runners accepted in the capacity field of 16, the strongest race in recent years, with two of those emergencies. The Kris Lees trained trio Sixties Groove, Mongolian Wolf and Loveisili have drawn wide in 19, 10 and 18 respectively, while Our Century, prepared by Kim Waugh drew 19.
Lees is still undecided if Sixties Groove, who trialled impressively at Newcastle on August 19, will head to the Cup or the Chelsmford Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
“More than likely he will race in town, but I haven’t decided 100 percent yet,” he said.
Murrell is also of the opinion Sixties Groove will head to town but believes their other runners, should they all gain runs, have genuine chances.
“Obviously the barriers aren’t ideal but if we can get Loveisili in to the Cup, he’s probably our best hope and Our Century, he’s just a classy horse, I expect he’ll run well anyway despite the wide draw,” he said.
“I think Delectation Girl is a great hope in the Mona Lisa so it could be a good day.”
The Waugh trained Our Century is resuming but he has won twice first up over similar distance and looks primed for a big race on the back of two recent trials.
“This was always the race Kim wanted to kick him off in. There are not a lot of real options for him and he goes really good fresh,” Murrell said.
“We saw last preparation that he does have a lot of gate speed, that was in smaller fields. He’s probably more of an on-speed horse, which I don’t mind for a wide draw for a on speeder because they can take their time getting across.”
“He’s been in work quite a while, so I’d say he would more than likely be positive from the draw.”
Murrell is keen on the chances of Loveisili, who strung together three consecutive wins over similar distances last preparation.
“I thought Loveisili was going to be our best chance, but I would have loved to have seen him draw soft and switch off.”
“If he gets a start, he will be the one out of all of ours that would be the best hope, given how he’s going.”
He said Mongolian Wolf had been racing in good form and deserved a chance in the race. “He went super the other day in the Taree Cup, but his best chance is a wet track, which is highly unlikely.
“That will be a bit of a dampener for his chances, but it was probably one of his best runs ever on a firm track at Taree so he’s going good.”
Murrell is very keen on the chances of Delectation Girl in the $140,000 Listed Winning Commercial Mona Lisa Stakes.
“Kris has deliberately kept her in a shorter distance race knowing full well we won’t see the best of her until she gets to 1400m and maybe 1600m.”
“I think she is a winning chance. She’s shown speed in her trials and she’s shown speed in America, but in Germany all she wanted to do was relax.”
“Her Randwick run last start was fantastic. She jumped really well and Brenton had to restrain her, I thought she went super and I’m very pleased with her.”
Aliferous, also raced by the syndicate, is unlikely to run from the barrier 16.
The Mona Lisa has attracted a top-class capacity field with two emergencies.
Race 1 – 12.55pm: PRIORITY BUSINESS LAWYERS 4YO & UP MAIDEN PLATE (1350m): 1 PARVEEN, 2 Corporal, 3 Canasta, 4 Version Two.
Race 2 – 1.35pm: BISHOP COLLINS ACCOUNTANTS MAIDEN HANDICAP (1200m): 1 MAISAA, 2 Impudens, 3 Favra, 4 Lady Lucienne.
Race 3 – 2.10pm: CENTRAL COAST COOLROOMS CLASS 2 HANDICAP (1200m): 1 SPLENDID SURPRISE, 2 Raay Of Dreams, 3 Republic, 4 Oakfield Twilight.
Race 4 – 2.45pm: AUSTRALIAN BLOODSTOCK BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP (1600m): 1 BID ‘N’ BARE, 2 Suitor, 3 Kiarra Rose, 4 Baanone.
Race 5 – 3.20pm: HUNTER PETROLEUM PRODUCTS DA VINCI – 3&4YO BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP (1300m): 1 CAMP RIFLE, 2 Rythmic Pulse, 3 Defeat, 4 Enseguida.
Race 6 – 3.55pm: WINNING COMMERCIAL MONA LISA STAKES (1350m): 1 CONNEMARA, 2 Delectation Girl, 3 Sweet Deal, 4 Notation.
Race 7 – 4.35pm: 2019 CARLTON DRAUGHT WYONG GOLD CUP (2100m): 1 STAMPEDE, 2 Loveisili, 3 Hogmanay, 4 Our Century.
Race 8 – 5.15pm: THE DOYLO SPRINGTIME BENCHMARK 70 HANDICAP (1100m): 1 MAROCH, 2 McCormack, 3 Red Notice, 4 Herzegovina.