Group 1 winning mare El Dorado Dreaming heads up the nominations for the $1m The Gong (1600m) at the Metropolitan status stand alone meeting at Kembla Grange on Saturday.
El Dorado Dreaming in one of four Kris Lees trained gallopers among the twenty-five nominations for the inaugural running of the 1600m Quality Handicap.
Lees’ other entries are eight year old Articus, former Kiwi trained mare Nicoletta and restricted class galloper Turnberry.
El Dorado Dreaming hit the spotlight during her two year old season with a win in the Group 1 $1m Inglis Sires’ (1400m) at Randwick during the 2018 Sydney Autumn Carnival and has been Group 1 placed on three occasions since.
The Ilovethiscity mare has had two runs as a four year old for a first up seventh in the Group 2 $200,000 Tooheys 150th Birthday Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on September 14 followed by a third in the Group 2 $500,000 Hot Danish Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on November 9.
El Dorado Dreaming is a get back and run on horse and Hot Danish jockey Andrew Gibbons said that a bit more speed up front would have suited her better on that occasion.
“She has come back really good this time. I would have liked to of rolled just half a second quicker in those middle stages and I think she would have challenged the winner. It was a good effort,” Gibbons said.
Group 1 performer Star Of The Seas heads up trainer Chris Waller’s four nominations for The Gong, along with Asterius, Gresham and Mister Sea Wolf.
Star Of The Seas was as handy third two starts back in the Group 1 $1m Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on October 5 while English import Mister Sea Wolf was the winner of the Group 2 $200,000 Toohey’s 150th Birthday Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on September 28.
Last Saturday’s Mooloolaba Cup winner The Candy Man and fellow Queenslander Looks Like Elvis are also among the nominations for The Gong.
El Dorado Dreaming has been installed as the $5 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for The Gong just ahead of the Star Of The Seas at $6 and the John Sargent trained Luvaluva at $7.
Early betting for the 2019 The Gong at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5 El Dorado Dreaming, $6 Star Of The Seas, $7 Luvaluva, $8 Military Zone, Mister Sea Wolf, $12 Looks Like Elvis, Dr Drill, Noble Boy, $14 Nicoletta, Quackerjack, $15 Articus, Asterius, $19 Ranier, $21 The Candy Man, $26 Goodfella, $31 Jonker, Taikomochi, $34 Tamarack, $51 Gresham, Sir Plush, Strome, $61 Testashadow, $101 Turnberry, $201 All But Gone, Esteem Spirit.
Nominations for the 2019 The Gong (1600m)
|#||Last 10||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp Rating|
|1||0378701×71||ALL BUT GONE||G||8||Damien Lane||64|
|2||x375561276||ARTICUS (FR)||G||8||Kris Lees||91|
|4||2421218211||DR DRILL (GB)||G||5||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||99|
|5||033x432x73||EL DORADO DREAMING||M||4||Kris Lees||102|
|6||45118×2861||ESTEEM SPIRIT||G||5||Gwenda Markwell||74|
|10||4121116832||LOOKS LIKE ELVIS||G||5||Bryan Dais||97|
|11||x823854x25||LUVALUVA (NZ)||M||5||John Sargent||98|
|12||1x6121x757||MILITARY ZONE||G||4||Peter & Paul Snowden||96|
|13||0x1200x610||MISTER SEA WOLF (IRE)||G||8||Chris Waller||108|
|14||7x67714x06||NICOLETTA (NZ)||M||6||Kris Lees||103|
|15||141116×443||NOBLE BOY||G||5||Todd Blowes||94|
|18||387421×060||SIR PLUSH (NZ)||G||7||Bjorn Baker||95|
|19||13211×4939||STAR OF THE SEAS (NZ)||G||5||Chris Waller||101|
|21||4x221400x3||TAIKOMOCHI||G||6||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||94|
|22||10x1798x52||TAMARACK (NZ)||G||6||Joseph Pride||89|
|24||110×600771||THE CANDY MAN||G||6||Barry Baldwin||97|