Racing: Gold Ace to finally deliver punters a jackpot

By Michael Guerin

The 5-year-old stallion has been the most frustrating of the elite pacers this season, not just for trainer Steven Reid but his ever-shrinking army of followers. File photo /  Photo / Sarah Ivey
The 5-year-old stallion has been the most frustrating of the elite pacers this season, not just for trainer Steven Reid but his ever-shrinking army of followers. File photo / Photo / Sarah Ivey

The Gold Ace tease looks set to continue for one more race this season.

The 5-year-old stallion has been the most frustrating of the elite pacers this season, not just for trainer Steven Reid but his ever-shrinking army of followers.

At his best he has set a track record at Addington winning the New Zealand Free-For-All over two subsequent Miracle Mile placegetters but at his worst he hasn't just failed but often missed a place.

Much of this hasn't been Gold Ace's, or Reid's, fault with the multiple group one winner struggling with persistent hoof issues, while his last-start disaster in the Messenger at Alexandra Park is blamed on a chest infection.

However, while there have been bright spots, the bottom line is Gold Ace's season has been a tale of what might have been and why next start will be better.

Yet, after a dazzling trial at Ashburton, again he might just lure the faithful back in for one more bet come Harness Jewels next week.

Gold Ace was the bright spot on a wet trials' day, with a 55-second last 800m to win like the very good horse he is when his feet, lungs and all other body parts work smoothly.

That, and the fact Gold Ace hasn't been showing signs of soreness for the past six weeks, gives Reid confidence they can once against test Terror To Love on Sunday week.

Plenty will scoff at that suggestion, tired of Gold Ace's form merry-go-round but the bonus of that is he is out to $8 in the TAB markets, an attractive price in what looks a two-horse race.

"I am not saying he will beat Terror To Love but I think he is close to his best again and that gives us a chance," says Reid.

"If he holds together I think he can be in the same sort of form as when he won the Flying Mile at Cambridge and with the right draw that could be enough.

"He isn't sore and is over his lung infection so we have one more crack at this before the end of the season."

The biggest determinant of whether that $8 fixed price is value could be Friday's barrier draw, with Gold Ace having the gate speed to make life tricky for Terror To Love.

The other big name to shine yesterday was Venus Serena, who looked very much on target for the juvenile fillies' pace with a 56.2-second last 800m winning her trial by eight lengths.

"She has come back from Auckland in great nick and all we want now is a draw," said trainer Geoff Dunn.

- NZ Herald

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