Gangstar guns for another win
THERE'S been a few nibbles for ultra consistent Our Gangstar, the horse it seems nobody wants to buy.
“Yes, there's been a few inquires, but we've put the price up,” trainer John Shelton said of the six-year-old last-start winner, which will step out in the Mark & Malcolm Mercer Handicap (1420m) on his home track today.
“To be honest, he's not costing us anything, he picks up a cheque every time he goes around.
“He's still on the market. We'll just wait and see what happens.”
Our Gangstar has won 10 from 44 starts and will be ridden by Shelton's apprentice Ben Looker, who dictated terms last time out to score over 1400m on March 29.
“He'll be thereabouts again,” Shelton predicted.
If the Grafton track plays as it has recently - favouring on-pace runners - the gelding will prove hard to hold out.
However, he'll face strong opposition from the Patinack Farm-Serene Lodge-owned Our Jetsetter, trained by Wayne Wilkes at Port Macquarie.
The mare drops 4kg to 55kg on her last-start fifth to Lady Game in the Queen Of The North (1200m) on March 17. Wilkes was confident of her handling wet ground.
Wilkes, who trained a treble at Taree on Saturday, prepares 20 horses for the Patinack Farm-Serene Lodge combination, headed by mining magnate Nathan Tinkler and his father Les.
The powerful stable also saddles up Bundy Al and The Super Gee (race two) and King Shane (race five).
Predictions last night for the meeting, which has been transferred from Coffs Harbour, suggested the Grafton track, given there is no further rain, could improve from heavy 9 to a slow 6 or 7.
“The grass has been left longer to protect the track, but given more drying weather it should improve,” chief steward Bill Fanning said after an inspection yesterday.
Unfortunately for racegoers Joe Janiak has elected to trial international superstar Takeover Target later this week in Sydney instead of an exhibition gallop at Grafton today.
Takeover Target is being readied for the $500,000 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday week.
Shelton was also keen on the chances of Fantheblaze today in the Mark Palmer Maiden (1220m).
The three-year-old has finished runner-up at his past two starts at Grafton.
“He's knocking on the door, he deserves to break through,” Shelton said. “It's better now we only have to walk across the road instead of going to Coffs Harbour.
“I think Fantheblaze will handle the wet track. He's done okay since last start.”