The Gold Trail will make his Australian debut in the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m), with a view towards claiming ballot-free entry into the 2017 Caulfield Cup which is allotted to the winner of the feature race.
The Gold Trail has produced a number of smart efforts through his entire twenty-start career to date and returned this time for a smart win in the Aabar Properties Plate (2410m) at Meydan on January 26th; beating home the likes of Prize Money who has since gone on to the win the Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold (2410m).
Travelling foreman for trainer Charlie Appleby, James Ferguson told Racing Victoria that there is plenty of parallels to be drawn between The Gold Trail and 2016 Caulfield Cup runner-up Scottish and that he is expecting the horse’s form to show in the Mornington Cup.
“I think he would be more similar to Scottish than the others, he stays well but the likes of Qewy, Francis (Of Assisi) and the others, they were real stayers, I think he has class, we brought him over to hopefully qualify him for the Caulfield Cup,” he said.
“I’d like to see him run well and then hopefully we can bring him back in the spring.
“I think he is in good form, he beat the likes of Prize Money in Dubai, who then went on and won so well.
“He is in good order, he came to me very fit so it is just a matter of keeping him fit.
“He is very straightforward, we are very fortunate to have Craig Williams riding him, who is top class, he will be up there on the pace somewhere and hopefully get a nice run.
“I’m glad he is going to Melbourne, he is much more than a good firm horse than a soft ground horse.”
The Gold Trail made only two appearances at the races in 2016; running fourth in the John Smith’s Cup (2092m) in July before winning the Herriet De-Vere Powell Handicap (2414m) in September.
The 2017 Mornington Cup field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.
Gold Trail is an early $2.80 favourite in the 2017 Mornington Cup betting markets with online bookie Ladbrokes Australia.