Local trainer Kelly Doughty will look to break her maiden status in the Gold Coast’s longest running race when she saddles up two livewire chances in Saturday’s Goldmarket Handicap 2014.
The dedicated Doughty watched her husband Gary win the 1995 edition of the race, now in its 51st year, as the jockey aboard Atlantic Crossing but is yet to taste Goldmarket success herself.
This weekend she’s out in force to change that with a dual pronged attack on the $100,000 Listed Carlton Draught Goldmarket (1300m).
One of those is the current $3.50 favourite Morning Captain carrying the equal 59kg top weight.
The consistent Danbird five-year-old was fifth in the race 12 months ago but is being tipped by the bookies and their trainer to improve on that this year.
Boosting Doughty’s confidence in Morning Captain, the gelding coming of some nice lead-up form in Brisbane including a second to Lucky Hussler in the Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m), was their inside barrier one draw.
“Barrier one – gee, it really must be Christmas,” she told AAP, Morning Captain having drawn barrier five or wider in their past five starts.
On paper they need to dig deep to shrug this lot off on the line having run fifth last start in the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) carrying one kilo less with 58kg.
There were excuses that run however as they missed the start and dug deep to make up lost ground eventually crossing three and a half kilos off the winner Love Rocks.
“He missed the start for the first time in his career,” Doughty said.
“He was ridden along from there because they really flew.
“The winner Love Rocks ended up running 1.17.4 and we finished about three lengths back. They don’t usually run anything like that at Doomben and Morning Captain really put in.”
Morning Captain will be joined in the Goldmaket field by their flying stablemate Little Brown Horse.
The five-year-old Waterford Road mare won back-to-back races first and second up this prep before their last start second at Doomben over 1350m on December 28.
She won in the mud at the Gold Coast on November 30 carrying 57kg then showed she could handle firmer ground, a plus heading towards a hot and dry weekend meet, when saluting on a Good (3) in Brisbane on December 18.
For her latest effort there was only a long neck separating Little Brown Horse and the winner Miss Leibert, and she drops back from 56.5kg that run to the 54kg minimum on Saturday.
“I know it is a big step up in class but she is an honest horse and she deserves her chance,” Doughty said.
“Even if she runs a place it will get her some black type beside her name.”
They’re still at a generous price to score an upset Goldmarket Handicap result however paying $14, the mare drawn in gate nine with apprentice hoop Tegan Harrison to ride.
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