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Gold Rush attempts to end drought

Friday, February 7, 2014
Arima Race Club

Gold Rush will make another attempt to end the drought in extended sprints when racing continues tomorrow at Santa Rosa Park, Arima.


The Roma Sagan Maraj owned four-year-old will be involved in the third event of the sixth round of the Arima Race Club’s 2014 Season.


Gold Rush trotted up by over nine lengths in the 1,350 metres Stud Farm Association Breeders Stakes in his second career outing on New Year’s Day last year when he raced in an extended sprint for the first time, but the John O’Brien trained chestnut was unable to get the job done in his five other outings over either 1,300 or 1,350 metres last season.


And it should be noted that Gold Rush was sent off as the favourite in the first four, before being installed second fancy behind eventual winner Chase The Dragon on Boxing Day, December 26.


Gold Rush’s running style suggests that he is best suited to extended sprints, but he has surprisingly performed best over two turns and even out-and-out sprints.


Attempting a staying distance for the first time on Emancipation Day, August 1, the son of Big Country finished third in the $500,000 Toyota Trinidad and Tobago Breeders Classic (GR.IRT&T) over 1,800 metres odds of 14/1.


At the end of October, Gold Rush placed second in the Chief Commander Stakes over the same trip and at the same odds and a month later he won a 1,750 metres contest for 60-45 rated horses by almost nine lengths as the odds-on favourite.


He showed his liking for an out-an-out sprint when he was sent over 1,100 metres next time out and won the Sugar Mike Stakes (GR.IIR) in the middle of December.


Gold Rush will actually be competing over 1,250 metres for the first time and it is debatable whether this distance is considered a sprint or an extended sprint. 


Among the six other 70-55 rated horses involved in the 1:48PM contest are the Derick Mosca trained pair of Swapped and Rhea’s Toy Soldier as well as King of Siberia.


This Johnathan Lyder trained five-year-old finished two lengths ahead of the third placed GOLD RUSH over 1,300 metres when he went down by a whisker to Chase The Dragon on Boxing Day, and based on this performance, King Of Siberia, who scored on four times in sprints and extended sprints last year, could go very close.


The same could be said about Rhea’s Toy Soldier, who has won twice and finished second twice from six starts since he came over from his native Jamaica in the middle of last year.


The grey colt is really versatile as his first victory was achieved over 1,350 metres in early September, and after finishing runner-up over 1,200 and 1,100 metres, he prevailed in a 1,000 metres race two months ago when he last faced the starter.


After failing to beat a horse in his first two starts in Trinidad, fellow Jamaican bred four-year-old Swapped finally showed what he is capable of by finishing second to another Jamaican, Fire Light over 1,200 metres a month ago in his last outing. 


It should be remembered that this Merlin Samlalsingh owned gelding won a 1,400 metres event by over seven lengths at home in May and the runner-up, Perfect Day, came to Trinidad and won her first two starts, including the Neal & Massy Oaks Stakes (GR.IRF) on Independence Day, August 31.


The field also includes Touch D Road , but the 2011 NLCB Easter Guineas (GR.IR) and Carib Brewery Midsummer Classic (GR.IR) winner has struggled since he placed third in the NGC CNG Trinidad Derby Stakes (GR.IR) that year.


In fact Maniram Maharaj’s six-year-old has only raced five times since that $500,000 event (contested on Emancipation Day in 2011, and trailed a 15-horse field last time out after finishing sixth four times in a row.


Touch D Road has been missing for over five months, but is coming down in class as he competed against 85-65 opposition in his last two starts.


The field also contains Undulation, who prefers the turf but may still be able to find a place, and the out-of-form Officer Ike.


This race will get the Soca 6 going and comes right after the first of four HI-5 betting events on the eight-race card.


Punters will first attempt to select the first five finishers in the second event, a 1,500 metres race on the turf involving 13 West Indian bred four-year-olds and over maidens at 1.10 pm.


There are also 13 in the field for the second HI-5 as the 45 & lower rated horses will do battle over 1,050 metres at just before 2.30 pm in the fourth race.


Twelve were declared in the sixth, a 1,350 metres contest for 40 & lower horses at 3.46 pm and the curtain will fall on the day’s programme with another HI-5 betting race.


Sweet Genius, runner-up in last year’s Gleneagle Stakes (GR.IIRF) and Neal & Massy Oaks Stakes (GR.IRF), is among 13 horses declared to compete over 1,750 metres in the event for 55-40 rated horses at 5.05 pm.


Post time is 12.30 pm.


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