Gosford galloper Loaded will have to overcome his toughest test to date when he lines up in the Group 3 $150,000 Panthers Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) at Hawkesbury tomorrow if he is to keep his winning streak rolling along.
Loaded has won at his last three outings, his last two in Brisbane and jockey Tim Bell will be aboard again after winning the Listed $80,000 Tattersall’s Mile (1600m) at Doomben on July 13 on the six year old.
“I’m the first to admit the Brisbane form isn’t as strong as down here but he was dominant and all you can do is beat what’s in front of you,” trainer Grant Allard told racenet.com.au.
“What I also liked was the fact he did it on slow tracks and I can tell you he’s a much better horse on dry ones.”
The Hawkesbury track is currently rated a good 3 and with no rain forecast, Allard looks like getting a favourable surface.
Loaded will be coming up against some fairly stiff opposition including recent Sydney winner Coup Ay Tee and the Paul Messara trained Mic Mac who ran second to the speedy Rain Affair in the Group 3 $125,000 McGrath Real Estate Agents Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 10 at his last start.
Allard isn’t concerned that Loaded hasn’t raced for four and a half weeks and said that the Flying Nicko gelding was ready to run 2000m.
“Not at all worried. I’d be happy sending him to a 2000-metre race if it suited, he’s that type of horse,” Allard said.
“He’s going enormous at home and he certainly didn’t need a run heading into this.”
Allard pointed out that Loaded needs plenty of galloping space in the straight and is not too concerned with drawing the outside gate and will let Bell handle that side of it.
“But Tim knows him pretty well and is a very talented jockey. It’s only a 10-horse field with some natural pace so he should be able to get off the fence,” Allard said.
One of Brisbane’s leading jockeys, Bell is also looking form some interstate success as he contemplates setting up base in the tough racing environment in Sydney.
Bell has firmly cemented himself in the top echelon of jockeys in the Sunshine State but feels there is an opportunity to establish himself with the bigger stables down south in the near future.
In a tight market Loaded is marked as a $10 chance in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup with four runner’s at $5 or less.
Mic Mac is currently the $4.40 favourite just ahead of Kinnersley and Coup Ay Tee at $4.80 with Julienas hot on their heels at $5.