HAWKESBURY jockey Grant Buckley was excited about the Gosford Cup prospects of the John Singleton-owned Wild About Her after he piloted the mare to a track record win as part of a double at Newcastle on Wednesday.
Buckley sat Wild About Her ($2.30 favourite), trained at Gosford by Kylie Gavenlock, third last on the fence before taking her wide on the turn to find clear running in the 1890-metre benchmark 64 handicap.
The four-year-old Big Brown mare did the rest, wearing down the field to prevail by 1 1/3 lengths from Hammond Lane to make it back-to-back wins at Newcastle and three on the trot. She now has four victories in 14 starts and her winning time of 1:57.37, with a last 600m of 33.66 seconds, was a record on the course proper, which had the rail out 11m because of surface renovations on the inside section. The rest of the track work will now be completed.
The listed Gosford Cup (2100m) on January 17 was in the sights of Wild About Her’s connections and Buckley, who has been aboard for her past three wins, was glad to be booked for the ride.
“They are going to go to the Gosford Cup and it will probably come down in weights,” Buckley said.
“This time of the year I don’t think the Cup races will be that strong. A lot of good horses have already gone around for their preps, but it’s definitely a horse on the way up. It will come down in weight a lot and I think that will be a big thing.
“And today, the horse really sprinted. She ran home in just a tad under 34 and for a staying-on horse with 59.5 on its back, it was a good effort.
“It’s good to win for Singo. He’s always supported me and given me rides right throughout my career. He pops in now and then and gives me a good one so I owe him a bit.”
A race earlier, Buckley led throughout on Godolphin’s three-year-old Exceed And Excel filly Solera ($2.05 favourite), which was having just her third race start in the 900m maiden handicap.
“The one of Godolphin’s won really, really well and it’s good to be back in the camp there,” Buckley said. “Hopefully if I keep riding winners for them, they’ll keep ringing.
“It definitely can keep winning. It’s got a lot of upside. It travels well, it’s got good gate speed. It’s just a real speedster, but it's got some depth.”
Travis Wolfgram shared riding honours with Buckley, winning on the Gary Moore-trained Classic Jade and Echo Princess for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.
Newcastle trainer Paul Perry had the only success for the locals, winning with Nothing Too Hard.
Leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees had a quiet day at home but won with Sasso Corbaro on the Sunshine Coast to go to 98 winners nationwide for the season.
Lees scratched Sasso Corbaro ($3) from last Saturday's Eagle Farm meeting to race in the benchmark 75 handicap (1200m). The four-year-old All Too Hard mare was in group company last autumn before a long spell and is now chasing black-type at the Magic Millions carnival.
“She is a quality mare and can win in better company,” jockey Robbie Fradd told AAP.
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