Shooting For Gold gave Baylee Nothdurft a winner with his first ride back since having his tonsils removed as the three-year-old gelding lived up to his short-priced favouritism at Eagle Farm.
Aiming for consecutive wins, the Steve O’Dea and Matt Hoysted-trained sprinter was sent out $1.50 in the Class 6 Handicap (1000m) and won impressively by 2¼ lengths.
The winning margin was dominant but Shooting For Gold had to do some work to register his sixth win from 10 starts.
Je Suis Belle went for home but Nothdurft knew what he had under him and put the matter beyond doubt in the final stages.
Nice patient ride from @bnothdurft14 aboard Shooting For Gold for @odearacing 👌 pic.twitter.com/Eh6CRWzHiu
Hoysted explained Shooting For Gold’s current preparation is being tailored to boost the sprinter’s rating for a Magic Millions campaign in the summer.
“He is obviously a Magic Millions horse and we are trying to get his rating up to get into some of those better races,” Hoysted said.
Nothdurft, last season’s champion Brisbane rider, hadn’t ridden since June 26 and Shooting For Gold’s win marked a successful return to the saddle.
In the opening race, Rob Heathcote’s two-year-old Release The Beans scored a gutsy win after appearing in trouble in the final stages.
Release The Beans, a son of ill-fated sire Spill The Beans, started the $2.70 favourite in the QTIS 2YO Handicap (1200m) but his backers were reaching for oxygen in the final stages when Princess Bojack loomed up like the winner.
Release The Beans (left) edges out Allusionist in the two-year-old race. Picture: Trackside PhotographySource:Supplied
Release The Beans looked to be going up and down in the one spot, but refused to hoist the white flag and came back for a narrow but gritty win.
“Today he looked like he was gone but he fought back, so he might have a bit of ticker,” Heathcote said.
“He is a two-year-old only having his third start, 1200m on this big track here at Eagle Farm and he has toughed it out to the line.
“I think the form out of the race will be OK too.”
Originally published asGold class: Magic Millions goal for flashy gelding
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