Racing: Travolta chance at Gosford

Today's race will mark the 21st anniversary of Gai Waterhouse's first stakes winner.

Rock 'N' Pop, the runner-up in last year's New Zealand Derby, is in the Takeover Target Stakes today. Photo / Supplied
Rock 'N' Pop, the runner-up in last year's New Zealand Derby, is in the Takeover Target Stakes today. Photo / Supplied

A field of 13 has been declared for the Gosford Gold Cup with Gai Waterhouse and Peter Snowden each saddling up two runners in today's listed race.

Waterhouse will start up-and-coming stayer Travolta and the durable Reuben Percival in a race that holds special significance for the Randwick trainer.

This year's A$150,000 ($188,000) race will mark the 21st anniversary of Waterhouse's first stakes winner after Moods took out the 1992 Gosford Gold Cup (2100m) just a few months after she became a licensed trainer.

Of her two acceptors, Travolta seems certain to be the more fancied after a gritty last-start win at Canterbury.

Travolta will be a readymade on-pace runner after drawing barrier one with Tommy Berry to ride.

Snowden will start Euryale and Yulalona. Euryale has been campaigning in Melbourne where she has been placed in two of her three starts this time in.

Yulalona, unplaced behind Straight Albert in last year's race, will be having his second run since contesting the Newcastle Cup in September.

Trainer Chris Waller has accepted with last-start Tattersalls Club Cup winner Moriarty with Hugh Bowman to take over from the sidelined Corey Brown.

Topweight Ironstein will be out to set himself up for a profitable Tasmanian campaign when he steps out after a short break since his unplaced Sandown Cup run.

In first markets on the Cup, last-start Tattersalls Club Cup winner Moriarty headed betting at $4.40.

But it's cramped at the top with Travolta ($5) and Fiumicino ($6) well in commission, just ahead of Panko ($8), who will have Victorian jockey Peter Mertens in the saddle.

•Lessons learned from an unforgiving introduction to black-type racing could be pivotal to Maroney Avenue's chances of winning the Takeover Target Stakes at Gosford today.

Maroney Avenue took an unbeaten record into the Carrington Stakes but inexperience and a minor injury concern conspired against the Rodney Northam-trained sprinter extending his sequence past six wins.

"The Carrington was a little bit disappointing on face value but he got stitched up on the first turn," Northam said. "That got him over-racing and checking off heels.

"It was the first time he had raced in a high-pressure race and he just didn't cope so the experience out of it should help him."

When known as the Pacesetter Stakes, the listed race announced the arrival of Takeover Target in 2004 as a powerhouse of Australian racing.

Takeover Target won the Gosford race at his fifth start and added two more victories to his record before meeting defeat for the first time.

Northam in a roundabout fashion is thankful Maroney Avenue's unbeaten run is over.

"In one way it is a bit of a relief he was beaten because while it is good to keep horses in winning form it comes with a lot of expectation."

One of three stakes races on a revamped Gosford Gold Cup card, the Takeover Target has attracted 10 acceptors, including the former New Zealander Rock 'N' Pop.

Rock 'N' Pop, the runner-up in last year's New Zealand Derby, hasn't been seen since going amiss in the Warwick Stakes in August at his first run for trainer Gai Waterhouse.


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