Are Jip shines in Gosford Gold Cup heats

Londonderry trainer Kristy Sultana had a memorable evening at Gosford last night, winning two of the four heats of the Group Two Gosford Gold Cup and now has a double shot at next Friday’s $40,000 to the winner final.

Victorian Sandown Shootout winner Iva Vision started as the $3.40 favourite in heat one, with last start winners Chasing The Line and Magic Display also well supported by punters. Jewel Action began brilliantly as expected and quickly crossed the field from box seven to lead around the first turn. Talented sprinter Magic Display was hot on the heels of the leader heading into the back straight and at once stage took the lead halfway around the home turn. Jewel Action showed great determination to fight off her rival at the finish, scoring by two lengths in a speedy time of 29.70. Magic Display finished in second place and secured a much-deserved finals spot.

Heat two saw Wentworth Park specialist Zipping Willow vying for redemption after finishing third in the Group Three Christmas Gift final two weeks ago. Exiting from box four, the Jason Mackay trained speedster started at skinny odds of $1.70 with punters and their faith was greatly rewarded after an electrifying all the way display in 29.48. Notching up her 34th career win from 51 starts, the daughter of Goodesy and Sirocco Lass clocked sizzling early sectionals of 4.36 and 16.68, and will be very hard to beat after drawing box one in next week’s final. Mark Gatt’s group winning performer Ritza Hattie ($5.00) was gallant in defeat from box seven, after suffering interference at the start, the Nowra track record holder grinded away to reduce the winning margin to two and a half lengths.

National Sprint Champion and recent Group Three Christmas Gift winner Chica Destacada was all the rage in heat three, starting at $1.70 from box five. After a moderate getaway, the Doreen Drynan-trained chaser suffered heavy interference at the first turn and almost fell, forcing her towards the tail of the field. Notable beginner Queen Esther led into the back straight, with strong finisher Zipping Tarn making good ground on the outside. Outside runner Farmer’s Gold was last away from box four and came from nowhere, squeezing between the two frontrunners up the home straight, scoring by a head at the finish over Zipping Angel ($15.70) in a sizzling time of 29.53. The Queensland chaser trained by Darren Russell, recorded his first victory since the start of November and rewarded a few brave punters with juicy odds of $34.40.

Anything Less, for in-form trainer John Finn, started as the $2.10 favourite in the final heat of the night, with solid support also shown for Are Jip ($4.30) and Silent Effective ($5.40). Rue De Kahn and Are Jip were best away at box rise, with Kristy Sultana’s chaser taking the lead halfway around the home turn, streaking away by three and a half lengths. Dean Swain’s Rue De Kahn battled on gamely to finish second and has come up with a favourable box two again in next week’s final. Are Jip notched up his 10th career win last night, in best of the night figures of 29.36 and saluted for the first time since October.

Next week’s final contains a blend of both early speed and stamina, with the first turn no place for the faint hearted. Winning connections will take home $40,000 in prizemoney and a Group Two title.

Group Two Gosford Gold Cup Box Draw – 515m

    • 1 – Zipping Willow – Jason Mackay
    • 2 – Rue De Kahn – Dean Swain
    • 3 – Farmer’s Gold – Darren Russell
    • 4 – Zipping Angel – Jason Mackay
    • 5 – Are Jip – Kristy Sultana
    • 6 – Magic Display – Evelyn Harris
    • 7 – Jewel Action – Kristy Sultana
    • 8 – Ritza Hattie – Mark Gatt

Reserves

  • 9 – Queen Esther – Noelene Holloway
  • 10 – Anything Less – John Finn