Trainer Symon Wilde is confident the stars have aligned for Gold Medals ahead of the Brierly Steeplechase at Warrnambool.
Two good flat runs, some impressive jumps trials and fine weather has the local horseman expecting a good performance in Tuesday’s feature on the opening day of the three-day carnival.
Punters are also predicting a good showing as Gold Medals has firmed from $13 to $9.50 since acceptances on Friday.
“We’re pretty bullish,” Wilde said.
“I think the only knock is he hasn’t had a jumps run leading in when I think every other horse has, but I think he’s a little better on the fresh side.”
Wilde has followed a similar campaign to that of previous years with the eight-year-old ahead of switching to jumps.
He finished third in the Stawell Cup on April 1 before running fifth on a heavy track in the Terang Cup.
“He was a bit unlucky in the Terang Cup as he got chopped out halfway up the straight,” Wilde said.
“He probably wasn’t going to win but it probably cost him third.”
Since that effort on April 15, Gold Medals finished second to fellow Warrnambool jumper Dormello Mo in a 2800m-school on April 24.
“Last year was his first year fencing,” Wilde said.
“He was good but I reckon this year he’s so much better again.
“His school the other day was just terrific. He cornered brilliantly, he jumped economically and very safely.”
Gold Medals already has a feature jumps win to his credit taking out the Australian Steeplechase at Sandown last May on a good rated track.
In that race, he lowered the colours of Zed Em who is the $2.90 favourite for Tuesday’s race.
“I think soft ground is his best ground,” Wilde said.
“He doesn’t like it really heavy and not really hard and I reckon the track will suit him down to the ground on Tuesday with the way the weather is at the moment.”
Wilde has accepted for Thursday’s Grand Annual Steeplechase over 5500m but says there only a 20 per cent chance the gelding will run.
“If he screamed home for second, or he won, I didn’t want to regret not having him in it,” Wilde said.