Straight Gold impressed jockey Tommy Berry with his performance in trackwork on Tuesday and the leading hoop is happy with the condition of the Stratum gelding heading into the 2014 Starlight Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
Straight Gold returned to Australia under the care of Gary Moore after a three year stint in Hong Kong and he stamped himself as a horse to watch with a second place finish behind Angels Beach in the Apace Cat Classic (1000m) at Cranbourne on October 12.
The Stratum gelding had no luck when ninth in the City Jeep Handicap (1000m) at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day, but he produced a much improved effort when third behind Atmospherical and Consorting in the Listed Earl Grey Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on Crown Oaks Day.
Berry rode Straight Gold in the Earl Grey Stakes and said that he was very pleased with the performance of the talented gelding and he told Sky Racing HQ that he was delighted with the work of the six-year-old heading into the 2014 Starlight Stakes this weekend.
“He ran very well in Melbourne down the straight and that suited him quiet well,” Berry said.
“He had a bit of racing down the straight in Hong Kong, so he was used to that.
“He is a horse who had great form from Hong Kong and that tapered off a little bit at the end, but when you bring horses to Australia sometimes that can give them a different scenery and change their frame of mind.
“I worked him on Tuesday morning and it was the best that he has worked so far.
“He did have a problem getting around the circle sometimes in Hong Kong, but that wasn’t a problem when he had his gallop the other day.”
Straight Gold made his racing debut under the care of Team Hawkes in 2011 and he had three race starts in Australia before he was purchased by racing interests in Hong Kong after he finished third in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) and fourth in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m).
He was a consistent performer in Hong Kong and he won races like the Ho Chung Handicap (1000m) in 2011 and the Singapore Turf Club Trophy (1000m) in 2013 before he made his Group 1 debut with a second place finish behind Amber Sky in The Kent & Curwen Centenary Sprint (1200m), but he was unable to reproduce that effort in subsequent performances at Group level.
Straight Gold is currently available at 2014 Starlight Stakes odds of $13, while Our Boy Malachi ($2.60) is a clear favourite from Dothraki ($6), Lilliburlero ($8) and Shamalia ($8.50).