Tony Gollan will saddle two runners in this afternoon’s Listed Grafton Cup (2350m), but understandably rates in-form stayer Amexed as his best chance of success in the country feature race.
Amexed has been luckless through the last twenty four months; ruled out of several preparations as a result of minor ailments but also failing to make much of an impression in the times he has made it to the races.
Having returned to blistering form with consecutive wins in the Ipswich Provincial Stayers Cup (2150m) and Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) most recently, Gollan told Racing Ahead he is thrilled with the Pentire gelding’s condition and is confident he will lay a good account for himself in the Grafton Cup.
“It was great for him to get the job done – he’s been a very frustrating horse, he’s had a lot of little things go wrong without anything major,” Gollan said of the Caloundra Cup.
“He’s been out of form for a while, but he found form at Ipswich, carried it onto the Sunshine Coast and was awesome there.
“I’m expecting him to run well today. I’m really pleased he’s drawn a good gate, but I’m under no illusions how hard these races are to win.”
Amexed will leave from the rails draw this afternoon, and Gollan is hoping to see the five-year-old take a positive position in running, better than midfield.
“I think he’ll be forward of midfield; I wouldn’t think he’ll be too far off them – sixth or seventh, something like that,” he said.
Gollan will also saddle Brave Ali in the 2016 Grafton Cup, who will leave from barrier 10 with Tegan Harrison in the saddle.
“They’re very competitive races, but if things fall out way he’s certainly going well enough. Both horses are fit and well enough and they have been targeted here,” he said.
“It hasn’t been an afterthought and I think that’s important but they also need their share of luck.”
Amexed has firmed into outright $4.20 favouritism in 2016 Grafton Cup betting markets with Ladbrokes Australia, while Brave Ali has also cut in price but remains a long-odds chance to win at $21.