Thurlow aiming to strike gold in Tauherenikau feature

Field Of Gold
Field Of Gold (outside) will contest Sunday’s Masterton Cup (2050m) at Tauherenikau. Photo: Peter Rubery (Race Images Palmerston North)

With the Listed Hawke’s Bay Cup (2200m) in the pipeline, Bill Thurlow is looking forward to stepping Field Of Gold out over ground in Sunday’s Masterton Cup (2050m).

The Starsplangedbanner gelding landed his career-best victory over 2000m in the Group 2 Waikato Guineas as a three-year-old, and two years later will seek to gain another black-type berth in the Tauherenikau feature.

Field Of Gold built to a strong last-start performance over 1600m at Otaki, nearly upsetting the $1.70 favourite in Loch In Ora with a storming late dash, only going down by a head under apprentice jockey Toni Davies.

“We thought it was a great run, he carried a big weight and was pretty close to winning the race really. He’s obviously still on the way up and we’re still learning a bit about him, but it was very good,” Thurlow said.

“He pulled up well and we’re really happy with him, hopefully he might have improved a little bit from that run. He hasn’t missed a beat.”

Thurlow was pleased to reward Davies with the ride again on Sunday, which provides three kilograms of weight relief from Field Of Gold’s 62kg allocated impost.

“Toni rode him very well for us last time out and it’s good to have her back on this weekend. She deserved to be rewarded for that,” he said.

“It’s only a small field, so in an ideal world I’d imagine he’ll be a few pairs back and one out, but we’ll see how the race pans out after he jumps.”

The Hawkes’s Bay Cup will be run at the rescheduled Otaki venue on April 13, and Thurlow is hopeful the five-year-old can continue on his upward trajectory towards the race.

“All going well, the Hawke’s Bay Cup is our plan. Hopefully he’ll get in with a nice light weight, but we’ll get through Sunday first,” he said.

Later on the Tauherenikau card, Thurlow will prepare Zacinto gelding Towrope for the Liquorland Masterton/Matahiwi Estate (1600m) off the back of a solid trial win at Foxton earlier this month.

“We think he’ll run very well, he’s had a couple of trials this time in and has come back a lot stronger as a four-year-old. We would expect a bold showing from him,” Thurlow said.

Thurlow has taken his time in strengthening the four-year-old, as with Complacent stablemate Rebal Agent, who runs fresh-up at Taranaki on Friday in the Daves Patch Maiden (2000m).

“He was very similar to Towrope, starting their preparations as late two-year-olds and were just a little bit weak at three,” he said.

“We’re not sure where we’ll end up with him, but he went well in his trial, and he’s been working on well. We’ll just see how he goes raceday.”

Meanwhile, Thurlow will be watching his promising jumper Whiskey Tango from afar this season, as the gelding headed offshore to Victorian trainer Patrick Payne’s to continue his career.

Horse racing news

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments