The Gosford Gold Cup was not originally on the radar for imported stayer Sweet Thomas but the horse has left trainer Matt Smith with little option but to run him.
After a sound autumn carnival campaign rounded out by a fourth in the Sydney Cup, Sweet Thomas was being freshened for the Lord Mayor’s Cup at the end of this month.
But the eight-year-old did so well in the stable, Smith decided he could not wait another three weeks for a race.
Instead, the eight-year-old will line up alongside stablemate Ilwendo in Saturday’s Listed Gosford Gold Cup (2000m), moved this year to Randwick because of coronavirus biosecurity measures.
“I wasn’t really intending to run him to be honest, but he was feeling so well I thought we’d throw him in,” Smith said.
“His runs weren’t bad during that last prep. We know he stays. This might be a bit sharp for him but it might not. We will see what happens.”
Fellow German import Ilwendo will tackle the Gosford Cup fresh from a Brisbane campaign which yielded a last-start win at Doomben on April 4.
The six-year-old has won three of his past five starts and while Saturday’s race presents a class test, Smith believes Ilwendo is a stayer of some promise.
“He’s a really nice horse. He is probably a little bit better on soft tracks but he’s fit and well, he’s going good and he’s got a light weight so he’s definitely a chance,” Smith said.
“He will win a decent race at some stage, I’m sure of that.”
The presence of Ilwendo could also make the race tactically intriguing.
Favourite Greysful Glamour likes to bowl along in front while Ilwendo also races best on-speed.
“He probably won’t get his own way because of Greysful Glamour. She likes to go forward as well,” Smith said.
“She has drawn 12 and he’s drawn favourably in four so it will be interesting how the race is run.”
Kris Lees will rely on Aliferous with Frankely Awesome scratched because she is unlikely to get her preferred rain-affected ground.
Backmarker Aliferous has been thereabouts at her past few starts in harder grade.
“She hasn’t won for a while but she hasn’t been running badly so she could easily show up here,” Lees said.
Greysful Glamour headed an open betting market on Friday from Group One winner Best Of Days.