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Image: Colin Bull
Gold Medals will attempt a third feature jumps win for the season

A fresh and fit Gold Medals will attempt a third feature jumps win for the season when he runs in the Australian Steeplechase at Sandown.

The jumps season is still in its infancy for 2018 and Gold Medals, who is chasing back-to-back Australian Steeplechase wins, has already claimed Warrnambool’s Brierly and Grand Annual Steeplechase at the start of May.

Gold Medals will carry 69kg on Saturday, a rise of 5kg on last year when he beat Zed Em, and a weight that is attractive to trainer Symon Wilde.

“There’s some races coming up with a capped topweight of 70kg,” Wilde said.

“It’s a pretty compressed weight scale on Saturday compared to what it used to be so this is probably the better one for him to run in.

“The track won’t be all that wet, which helps, and it didn’t come up as strong as we thought as his nemesis Zed Em isn’t there and Wells isn’t there.

“He galloped pretty well at Warrnambool this morning so we’ll accept and I’d say we’ll be running.”

At his last start Gold Medals won Australia’s most gruelling race, the 5500m Grand Annual over 33 jumps, two days after winning the Brierly.

Wilde was astonished with how quickly Gold Medals recovered from those races, citingthe lack of travel and beach access as key factors.

“We’re five minutes to the beach and he’s in the water and he had no travelling over the carnival,” Wilde said.

“He had a light 10 to 14 days after the Annual before easing back into his training and he’s been eating up everything.”

A rising nine-year-old, Gold Medals won his first start as a two-year-old in 2012 and has won a race every year since.

Wilde says he doesn’t know how much further into the winter the gelding will race.

“He’s only had two jumps runs this year,” Wilde said.

“If he pulled up well we were always intending one more run as it’s sort of what he does every year.

“He has three to four flat runs and three to four jumps runs and then its off to the paddock.

“He’s had three flats runs, two runs over the jumps and this is the race that fits best.”

 
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