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  • Provincial Racing NSW


GOSFORD course manager Steve Scollard isn’t panicking ahead of his club’s major Saturday metropolitan stand-alone meeting despite the track being deluged.

But he admits the forecast for Friday and Saturday isn’t good.

Gosford on Monday afternoon was rated a “Heavy 10” after receiving around 210mm in the current rain spell.

“We would have raced this morning, but then had another 15mm up until around 2pm,” Scollard said.

“But I’m not panicking. As always, we’ll do as much as we can to have the track raceable, and it’s still early in the week.

“However, the forecast for both Friday and Saturday isn’t good, and hopefully that doesn’t eventuate.”

Gosford Race Club is offering a record $2.13m in prizemoney for the fourth running of the $500,000 The Coast meeting, which also includes the $300,000 Listed Gosford Gold Cup (2100m) and $250,000 Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m).

Two hundred and thirty-six nominations have been received for the 10-race program; 19 for The Coast, 24 for the Gold Cup, and 27 for the Takeover Target.

Talented Newcastle four-year-old Tavi Time (54kg) is an early $4 favorite with for The Coast, ahead of the Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou pair, 59,5kg topweight Grebeni ($6) and Williamsburg ($7).

Tavi Time’s trainer Kris Lees won the 2022 edition with Rustic Steel, whereas Royal Randwick trainer John Sargent, who won both the inaugural event in 2021 with Brandenburg and then Palmetto last year, has outsider Unique Ambition entered this year.

One-time Melbourne Cup favorite Goldman (57kg) at $4.50 heads early betting on the Gold Cup, ahead of Annabel Neasham pair Naval College (58kg) and Bois D’Argent (57.5kg), both at $6.

Melbourne visitor Hezashocka, a last start Randwick Group 3 placegetter, is also at $6.

Dual Doomben Cup winner Huetor, who beat Goldman and Hezashocka in the JRA Plate (2000m) on April 13, is Cup topweight with 61kg, but is expected to instead contest the $500,000 Group 2 wfa Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Sunshine Coast, where he is an early $2.80 favorite.

Bookmakers have posted Ballroom Bella, Stefi Magnetica and Tashi as $8 joint favorites for a wide open Takeover Target. All three “girls” – Tashi is a four-year-old mare and Ballroom Bella and Stefi Magnetica are three-year-old fillies – are on the 54kg limit.

Subsequent The Everest winner Think About It (Sam Clipperton) won last year’s Takeover Target, and Matt Smith’s import Esti Feny (Jay Ford) won last year’s Cup and is on target to tackle the race again.

Clipperton (four wins) and Kerrin McEvoy (three wins) between them landed seven of the 10 races last year, whilst Chris Waller (three) and James Cummings (two) won five between them.

. To herald in the club’s biggest raceday of the year, members are invited to attend a cocktail party at the track in the Members’ Lounge on Thursday night from 6 to 9.30pm.

Then the race eve Toast To The Coast Lunch, hosted by Greg Radley, at the Railway Hotel on Friday features a star-studded list of guest speakers.

Story John Curtis, May 6, 2024 - Pic supplied

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