The Gong 2019 Field & Betting: Mares Battle For Favouritism

November 20, 2019

The Gong 2019 Field & Betting: Mares Battle For Favouritism

Two class mares are battling for top spot in the 2019 The Gong betting at Kembla Grange this weekend with Hot Danish graduates El Dorado Dreaming and Luvaluva tipped as the ones to beat in the inaugural edition of the $1 million feature.

El Dorado Dreaming. Photo: Steve Hart.

El Dorado Dreaming is early favourite in The Gong 2019 betting this weekend. Photo: Steve Hart.

The last of the new seven-figure The Everest Festival features held across the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival, the $1 million The Gong (1600m) features a capacity field for the first running on Saturday.

Newcastle’s Kris Lees launches a three-pronged attack on the event and his Ilovethiscity mare El Dorado Dreaming, winner of the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes as a two-year-old in 2018, is the current $5 co-favourite in The Gong betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.

The four-year-old was in top form during the autumn running two Group 1 placings in the Surround Stakes (3rd) and Coolmore Classic (2nd) and was in the money again second-up this prep in the $500,000 Group 2 Hot Danish Stakes (1400m).

She was only 1.7 lengths off the winner Reelem In Ruby at Rosehill on November 9 carrying 57kg and drops to 54kg with Kerrin McEvoy to ride from a nice barrier five draw in The Gong.

“[El Dorado Dreaming] is coming off a nice run at the Hot Danish two weeks ago,” Lees told the Illawarra Mercury this week.

“She looks a nice option for the mile. She’s only had one win but she’s raced at a high level; she’s a Group 1 winner.”

Sharing the top line of The Gong betting is Hot Danish Stakes fifth placegetter Luvaluva drawn one wider in barrier six with Tim Clark aboard the John Sargent-trained Mastercraftsman mare.

Luvaluva hasn’t won a race since April of 2018 so is out to break a notable drought, but she has winning form at this track / distance having saluted in last year’s Group 3 Kembla Grange Classic (1600m).

Three other runners are also under $10 to become the first The Gong winner including the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Military Zone ($7).

The four-year-old Epaulette gelding is fourth-up on Saturday having been thereabouts all prep, his last start producing a seventh when four lengths off Kolding in the $7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m) on November 2 at Rosehill.

He jumped at a roughies’ price that day from barrier 12 and looks better suited in eight coming back to 53kg here.

Star Of The Seas ($7.50) for trainer Chris Waller and jockey Glen Boss, and early market mover Noble Boy ($8) then round out the single-figure The Gong hopefuls on the weekend.   

Ocean Park chestnut Star Of The Seas ran third to stablemate Kolding in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) two back at Randwick before his ninth in a competitive edition of Flemington’s Group 1 Kennedy Cantala (1600m) during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

He is against easier company in The Gong, but will need to dig deep going up to 55.5kg as the second topweight in the race behind the also Waller-trained Mister Sea Wolf (59kg).

Noble Boy meanwhile has been in strong form this spring, narrowly beaten in all three starts including finishing a quarter-length third to Reykjavik in Flemington’s Group 3 Chatham Stakes (1400m) on November 9.

See below for the full The Gong 2019 field and barriers, the latest odds available here courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au.

2019 The Gong Final Field & Barrier Draw

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp. Rating
1 0x1200x610 MISTER SEA WOLF (IRE) Chris Waller James McDonald 9 59kg 108
2 13211×4939 STAR OF THE SEAS (NZ) Chris Waller Glen Boss 7 55.5kg 101
3 7x67714x06 NICOLETTA (NZ) Kris Lees Tommy Berry 19 54.5kg 103
4 033x432x73 EL DORADO DREAMING Kris Lees Kerrin McEvoy 5 54kg 102
5 4121116832 LOOKS LIKE ELVIS Bryan Dais Blaike McDougall 16 53.5kg 97
6 x823854x25 LUVALUVA (NZ) John Sargent Tim Clark 6 53kg 98
7 1x6121x757 MILITARY ZONE Peter & Paul Snowden Andrew Adkins 8 53kg 96
8 387421×060 SIR PLUSH (NZ) Bjorn Baker Jason Collett 17 53kg 95
9 141116×443 NOBLE BOY Todd Blowes Brodie Loy 4 53kg 94
10 882x728x39 GOODFELLA Bjorn Baker Glyn Schofield 13 53kg 93
11 3923×56080 JONKER David Atkins Brock Ryan (a) 11 53kg 93
12 6×95593034 TESTASHADOW Gary Portelli 15 53kg 90
13 4x221400x3 TAIKOMOCHI Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Ms Winona Costin 3 52kg 94
14 x375561276 ARTICUS (FR) Kris Lees Andrew Gibbons 18 52kg 91
15 0x13216x31 QUACKERJACK Mark Newnham Ms Rachel King 14 52kg 89
16 10x1798x52 TAMARACK (NZ) Joseph Pride Jay Ford 20 52kg 88
17e 720x312x71 ASTERIUS Chris Waller TBA 1 52kg 88
18e 564×031042 RANIER James Cummings Ms Kathy O’Hara 10 52kg 87
19e 45118×2861 ESTEEM SPIRIT Gwenda Markwell TBA 2 53kg 74
20e 0378701×71 ALL BUT GONE Damien Lane Serg Lisnyy 12 53kg 64

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