Local Gold Coast trainer Kelly Doughty puts apprentice hoop Geoffrey Goold back aboard her Goldmarket Handicap hope Little Brown Bear in the hope the young jockey can continue his good form on the galloper.
Goold, who won’t be able to use his apprentice claim in Saturday’s $100,000 Listed Carlton Draught Goldmarket Handicap (1300m) at the Gold Coast, boasts a good record on Doughty’s Waterford Road mare.
He’s been aboard the six-year-old four times for two wins and two thirds, most recently in an open handicap over the 1300m at Eagle Farm when third behind Rocky King back in July.
Saturday will be the mare’s ninth black-type assignment and she shoots for her maiden stakes win.
The closest she has come to black-type success was a third behind Avaladyluck in the Listed Bright Shadow Handicap (1200m) when beaten just over a quarter length on May 31 during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
She’s had two runs at Doomben Racecourse this preparation, her last start being a solid fifth when two and a half lengths off the winner Tarloshan in the Listed Just Now Handicap (1350m) on December 13.
Jockey Jeff Lloyd had the ride that day and while Doughty was happy with the hoop’s efforts, she believes her mare should have been closer to the winner on the line.
“Jeff rode her well but she probably should have finished closer,” Doughty told AAP.
“Geoff knows exactly how to ride her. She needs to be held up and he seems to be able to do that.”
Doughty and her former Group 1 winning jockey husband Gary both rated Goold as one of the best young apprentices on the Coast.
Goold goes back on Little Brown Horse for her 42nd career run, 11 of which she has won for a tidy $228,950 in prize money.
She has drawn barrier nine but will jump from gate eight following the early scratching of the Tony Gollan-trained Someday (barrier three) from the race.
Current Goldmarket Handicap betting markets at Ladbrokes are led by Rex Lipp’s Group 1 Queensland Oaks winner Tinto at $3 who comes off a win in the Listed Bernborough Handicap (1625m) at Toowoomba just three days ago on New Year’s Eve.
Little Brown Horse meanwhile has firmed in from $15 to $12 to score an upset win, her first success at the Sunshine Coast on June 28 with Goold aboard.
In the Just Now she carried 54.5kg but Saturday sees her drop back half a kilogram to the 54kg minimum with weights topped by the Robert Heathcote-trained Group 2 winner Riva De Lago on 59kg.
She has had seven previous runs at the Gold Coast for three wins and a third, a nice record Doughty hopes will boost her chances on the weekend.
“I would love to see her win a feature race,” she said.
“She likes the Gold Coast and that is a plus for us.”
Also a non-issue is the 81mm of rain that fell at the Gold Coast on Wednesday, Little Brown Horse having won two and finished third in another of her four starts on Heavy-rated tracks.