They are one of the top five fancies for the Sandown Guineas 2012 in Melbourne this Saturday and while they are only lightly-raced Gold Medals should prove a competitive force in the Zipping Classic Day feature according to their Warrnambool-based father-son trainers Bill & Symon Wilde.
Elvstroem gelding Gold Medals is one of 16 three-year-olds engaged in this year’s $350,000 Group 1 Sandown Guineas (1600m) a race well known for producing a turf champion or two over the seasons.
Drawn on the rails in barrier one with Michael Rodd engaged for the ride Gold Medals currently pays $11 in the Sandown Guineas odds, markets led by the Peter Snowden-trained Tatra ($4.60) and their last-start conqueror Lunar Rise ($4.80) from the stables of maestro trainer Bart Cummings.
Gold Medals has had just four starts to date and hasn’t won a race since their successful debut at Warrnambool back in April.
They made their big city debut last Saturday however at Flemington’s Emirates Stakes Day and caught the eye when finishing less than two lengths away third behind Eximus, also an $11 chance for the Guineas this weekend, in the Listed Hilton Hotels Stakes (1400m).
Stepping up to the mile for the first time at Sandown Gold Medals certainly faces their toughest test to date but could prove the value bet of the day as they look to follow in the footsteps of their stablemate So Swift who won the Sandown Guineas 12 months ago for the Wildes.
“We have had a high opinion of him for a while now, even when he was a two-year-old and disappointed on a heavy track at the May carnival at Warrnambool,” Symon Wilde said.
“We turned him out, he had a virus in the winter and he took time to come to hand.
“We expected him to win at Stawell (first-up after a six month spell on November 2 when second) and we thought he would run well at Flemington (last Saturday) but we needed to gauge where he was to see if it was worth pushing on for the Guineas.
“We saw enough to convince us that it was.
“Some of his rivals have had long and busy preparations and he’s the new one.
“Had he drawn a decent gate at Flemington I think he would have gone very close and his closing sectionals were good so we have to be hopeful.”
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