Brighton-based horseman Gary White couldn’t be happier with the Hobart Cup 2015 barrier draw for Monday’s classic after his hopeful Ollie’s Gold came up trumps with an ideal inside alley.
One of 13 confirmed starters in this year’s edition of the $225,000 Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m), Promontory Gold five-year-old Ollie’s Gold jumps from barrier one in the classic with Dean Yendall in the saddle.
A 54kg lightweight in a line-up led by John Luttrell’s 2012 Hobart Cup winner Geegees Blackflash (59kg), Ollie’s Gold is one of just three last start winners in the mix.
Last start on January 28 Anthony Darmanin, aboard rival Genuine Lad for Billy Ryan in the Hobart Cup, rode the gelding to a big two and a half-length victory in the $16,000 Carrick Plate (2100m) at Launceston.
He had 56kg for that win so will appreciate the two kilo drop back in weights as he rises in class for one of the Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival majors.
The blinkers were on in the Carrick Plate to sharpen Ollie’s Gold up and they’ll likely stay on after his impressive and improved performance.
The galloper is yet to win over the mile and a half after two previous attempts but has a great record at Hobart with four wins, three seconds and a third form 10 previous runs at the track.
A winner of five of his 26 starts so far, the up-and-comer has amassed $133,800 in prize money for connections after being passed in for only $4,500 at the 2011 Magic Millions Tasmanian Select Yearling Sale.
The Hobart Cup is a test for how he is travelling now with Ollie’s Gold having avoided black-type racing over the past two years.
His last start in stakes company was back in February of 2013 when he backed up from some top three-year-old form including a win in the Listed Tasmanian Derby (2200m) to be outclassed and beaten 11 lengths to finish eighth to Geegees Blackflash in the Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m).
He is in career best form according to White however and that coupled with the gun barrier could lead to an upset Hobart Cup result.
“I couldn’t be happier with barrier one because that will allow my horse to be put into the race wherever he wants,” White told TasRacing.
“I couldn’t have the horse in any better condition for Monday’s race.”
Geegees Blackflash meanwhile contests the Hobart Cup for the fifth straight year on Monday after a second to Epingle 12 months ago carrying 60kg.
Like Ollie’s Gold the top weight drew ideally with barrier three and could firm into favouritism in the Hobart Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au before jump time on Monday afternoon.
Early top fancy Banca Mo for the Seven Mile Beach-based Scott Brunton also has an inside draw with barrier two.
That however could prove a disadvantage for the Tough Speed seven-year-old whose fractious behavior in the barriers caused him to be scratched at the gates in the Summer Cup at Hobart last Sunday week.
Tony McEvoy however was thrilled with barrier five for interstate visitor Pelicano, the six-year-old last seen running sixth in the Listed Gosford Cup (2100m) on January 9.
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