Looking Ahead - February 12

3 min read

Looking Ahead puts the spotlight on runners of interest across Australia and New Zealand. Whether they are a particularly well-bred or high-priced runner having their first or second start, a promising galloper returning to the track or a horse which has trialled particularly well, we’ll aim to give you something to follow.

Today, we focus our efforts on the Gosford meeting where we have found two well-credentialled maiden contenders and a 3-year-old from the Snowden stable whose first-up prospects look appealing.

Gosford Tab.com.au 3 Or Less Starts Maiden $35,000 1100 metres 1.15pm

Vendome (NZ) (O’Reilly {NZ}) was an expensive purchase when secured out of Richard Rutherford’s Beltana Stud draft at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale for NZ$825,000 by Alan Bell, The China Horse Club and Newgate. He is a brother to the G1 Newmarket H. winner and sire Shamexpress (NZ) and is from the family of the G1 Caulfield Cup winner Affinity (NZ) (Zamazaan {Fr}).

Trained by Team Hawkes, Vendome was turned out following a debut third during the winter and then won a trial before his resuming run for third at Rosehill. With the benefit of that race day outing under his belt, he should be at peak fitness and a first win beckons the 3-year-old.

Vendome pictured as a yearling

Gosford Central Coast Motor Group H $35,000 1100 metres 1.50pm

Hinchinbrook’s son Stay Smart resumes here after a winning debut at Goulburn back in August. The gelding has been given two trials to fit him for his return by trainers Peter and Paul Snowden and finished runner-up in a 1000 metre heat at Rosehill last month.

Stay Smart is out of Tanya Jean (NZ) (Starcraft {NZ}), who was successful on four occasions, a sister to the two-time Listed winner Nan Tien (Jan Murray {USA}). She hails from the family of the multiple Group 2 winner Rain Affair (Commands) and the influential stallion Centaine (Century).

Stay Smart pictured as a yearling

Gosford Toohey’s Maiden Plate $35,000 1600 metres 3.05pm

Gooree Stud understandably retained the well-related Molten Rock (High Chaparral {Ire}), who is a half-sister to six winners, including the Group 3 performer Fight And Defend (Encosta de Lago). They are out of Steamheat (USA) (Broad Brush {USA}), a half-sister to the G1 Coolmore Stud S. winner and Group 1 producer Northern Meteor (Encosta de Lago). It is also the family of another successful stallion in Smart Missile (Fastnet Rock).

Trained by Mark Newnham, Molten Rock had four trials before going to Newcastle where she finished an encouraging third over 1500 metres. She has to overcome an awkward draw this time, but a positive is the booking of Tommy Berry.