When the competitors line up for the Racecall Gold Trophy at the Cleveland course normal racing tenets will be suspended. Choicely bred thoroughbreds will not dominate the race; in fact there will not be a single equine blue-blood among the 26-strong field.
This is a sprint designed to assist horses of plebeian breeding, with weight assigned largely on the basis of the sales success of the runners' sires. This may seem like a formula for producing winners of poor quality, but the evidence of the three Gold Trophies to date, which have won by Osario, Chipaya and Casteddu, suggests a useful animal will take today's prize.
One who can already claim to be in that league is Pips Pride (3.00), who carries a 7lb penalty following his success in the Group One Heinz '57' at Leopardstown in August. This goes on to something of a lenient original weight, however. While Richard Hannon's colt has been assessed on the median price of less than 3,000 gns that his sire, Efisio, commanded in Europe last year, Pips Pride himself went for 15,000 gns as a yearling. The terms of this race could not have been better framed for the chestnut.
The following event features a filly who has done little but eat and run slowly for much of the season, Maurice Camacho's DUTOSKY (nap 3.30). 'She's a half-sister to Tusky and, like him, showed nothing early on,' the Malton trainer says.
However, when Dutosky did get her act together, at York earlier this month, the effect was devastating. Among the filly's rivals, who were well spread out in what was a relatively fast-run race, were the subsequent winners of competitive nurseries in Abergele and So So. With Dutosky proven on the ground and likely to be an even better performer over today's trip of a mile, she can overcome a 7lb rise in the weights.
Gentle Hero has been hiding his talents for even longer than the filly. Mick Naughton's gelding has now gone 16 runs without success since winning an Ayr handicap 15 months ago.
The horse did himself few favours with the handicapper when subsquently finishing a short- head second to Montendre in a Listed race and it took until Haydock earlier this month for Gentle Hero (next best 3.30) to show any semblance of form.
Now running from a mark 24lb lower than when at his peak last season, Gentle Hero can account for Amazing Feat.Reuse content