The punt to bring back Gamblestown from retirement has not yet paid dividends, but trainer Joe Pride is confident the rejuvenated gelding can justify the faith of connections.
Leg issues appeared to have ended the seven-year-old’s racing life but after more than a year off, Gamblestown embarked on a lengthy preparation that breaks new ground at Rosehill on Saturday.
For the first time Gamblestown races over 2000 metres in the Listed ATC Cup, the eighth start of a campaign that looked unlikely 12 months ago.
“We sent him to the paddock as a retired horse and after six months we started to get ideas that maybe he could come back,” Pride said.
“We brought him back in and although we haven’t made the decision yet because he hasn’t won but he’s been giving the owners a bit of a thrill racing around.”
Gamblestown made his comeback in September and has recorded two minor placings.
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He heads to Rosehill on a six-day back-up from a sixth in the Goulburn Cup (1600m) last weekend.
“If you take the horse on face value of his last couple of runs you’d say he looks like he’s looking for 2000,” Pride said.
The Warwick Farm trainer also has Tactical Advantage lining up in the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) field with the first emergency gaining a run with the scratching of Highly Geared.
Pride acquired the four-year-old gelding when James Cummings joined Godolphin and Tactical Advantage has made a decent impression with minor placings in two benchmark handicaps.
“He’s been solid without winning. His two runs have shown good improvement and if he can go a length or two better it might be enough,” Pride said.
Tactical Advantage has a third and second in two Listed races..