The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Old Flame remains near the top of The Gong 2022 betting for Saturday’s $1 million feature race at Kembla Grange despite the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained galloper drawing out wide.
The fourth edition of the $1 million The Gong (1600m) highlights the Sydney racing action this weekend, and there is a capacity 16 starter field for the handicap clash.
That includes the first emergency Wild Planet getting a run in on 53.5kg after the withdrawal of the Chris Waller-trained Atishu (14).
Last start Group 2 Matriarch Stakes winner on Stakes Day, Atishu instead jumps as favourite in the Listed $500,000 Ballarat Cup (2000m) in Victoria.
Formerly sitting top of the latest The Gong odds online at $6.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au, the in-form Invincible Spirit entire Old Flame for Team Snowden has work to do from a nasty barrier in the mile feature.
A winner of five of his 11 starts to date, the British-bred five-year-old was excellent at Flemington last time out on Derby Day.
Old Flame returned to winning form with a 1.5 length success in the Group 2 Linlithgow Stakes (1400m).
He has drawn out in gate 19 (into 15) for his trip back north for The Gong, but remains a winning hope with jockey Tommy Berry aboard according to the markets.
Early The Gong market mover and new top elect is the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Riodini.
The Proisir six-year-old was at double-figures following final acceptances but has been heavily backed in from $10 to $5.50 to head updated The Gong betting.
Riodini hasn’t finished better than seventh his latest eight starts with his last placing being behind Verry Elleegant when runner-up in the 2021 Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) over a year ago.
He is third-up this prep and was last seen running just over three lengths back eighth in an eye-catching performance at triple-figures in the $3 million Nature Strip Stakes (1300m) on October 29.
Now into the same $6.50 quote as one-time favourite Old Flame is the Joe Pride-trained Brutality on the quick back-up.
Regan Bayliss partners the six-year-old son of Shamus Award again with the horse and hoop last seen running over four lengths back ninth to Vilana in Newcastle’s $1 million The Hunter (1300m) last Saturday.
That was on a Good (4), as was his credible ninth when just over three lengths behind stablemate Private Eye in the Nature Strip at Rosehill as a 40/1 outsider two back.
Better on Soft – Heavy going, Brutality is unlikely to get conditions to suit this weekend and the support for him in the markets is surprising.
A further three The Gong runners are at single-figures for the win with Kerry Parker’s in-form Dundeel mare Hope In Your Heart ($8) coming off two Group 3 wins and a close fourth at big odds in the $10 million Golden Eagle (1500m), Kris Lees’ inaugural $2 million The Big Dance winner over the Randwick mile with 59kg on Cup Day Rustic Steel ($8.50), and the rails-drawn Purple Sector ($9.50) the dangers.
The Gong 2022 is set to run as Kembla Grange Race 8 at 4:40pm (AEDT) on Saturday’s big 10-race card.
2022 The Gong Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||710×620222||JUST FOLK||Josh Julius||Jarrod Fry||17||59kg||106|
|2||480032×000||KOLDING (NZ)||Chris Waller||Joshua Parr||4||59kg||106|
|3||x22415x710||PROMISE OF SUCCESS (GB)||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||2||58.5kg||109|
|4||13411×8861||RUSTIC STEEL||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||5||58.5kg||105|
|5||x51643x441||KIRWAN’S LANE (NZ)||John O’Shea||Tom Sherry||16||58kg||104|
|6||x43161x164||SURF DANCER (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Ms Rachel King||9||58kg||104|
|7||0x4x80566x||BERDIBEK (FR)||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||6||56.5kg||101|
|8||4x123x1271||OLD FLAME (GB)||Peter & Paul Snowden||Tommy Berry||19||56.5kg||101|
|9||029x1450x6||SKY LAB||Paul Perry||Ms Winona Costin (late alt)||3||56.5kg||101|
|10||3334×76751||ATISHU (NZ)||Chris Waller||Jay Ford||14||56kg||104|
|11||80324432×1||OSCAR ZULU||Chris Waller||Chad Schofield||13||56kg||100|
|12||6270×81114||HOPE IN YOUR HEART||Kerry Parker||Jason Collett||15||55.5kg||103|
|13||50548×7699||BRUTALITY||Joseph Pride||Regan Bayliss||11||54.5kg||97|
|14||24406×2202||PURPLE SECTOR (NZ)||John Thompson||Reece Jones (a)||1||54.5kg||97|
|15||53x08184x1||LOVE TAP||Richard & Will Freedman||Andrew Adkins||18||53.5kg||95|
|16||08x0790x08||RIODINI (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||8||53.5kg||95|
|17e||798600×974||WILD PLANET||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Zac Lloyd (a)||7||53.5kg||95|
|18e||3x0914259x||PARRY SOUND||Sara Ryan||Dylan Gibbons (a)||12||54kg||93|
|19e||x21070x763||STEELY||Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou||Tyler Schiller (a)||10||52kg||91|
|20e||x972221x50||KISS SUM||Tracey Bartley||20||54kg||90|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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