TOUGH jumper Gold Medals is on track to run in his third Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase, according to trainer Symon Wilde.
Gold Medals - who won the 2018 Brierly-Grand Annual double at the Warrnambool May Carnival and ran second in both jumps races last year - resumed with a seventh placing on the flat in the Naracoorte Cup on Sunday.
Wilde was excited by the performance on the flat of his 10-year-old jumper.
"I was very pleased with the first-up run of Gold Medals," he said.
"It was his first run for 29 weeks, so it was a big effort.
"Jockey Josh Cartwright gave a positive report.
"Josh said he was following the favourite, but he never took Gold Medals into the race.
"We're well in front of his preparation compared to the last few years. Gold Medals is a stable favourite.
"We'll just take him along slowly and look for another flat race in a couple of weeks.
"It's all about getting the miles into his legs.
"We've got the same goals for him as in previous years.
"A run in the Brierly and if he runs well then we'll push forward to the Grand Annual."
From his 17 jumps starts, Gold Medals has won six races and in the minor placegetters stall on eight occasions.
Meanwhile, Wilde was also happy with the effort of Gold Medals stablemate Danzadoozie in a benchmark 58 on the flat at Naracoorte.
"Danzadoozie has had the two flat runs," he said.
"We're getting him ready for the early jumping races.
"He likes it on the dry tracks.
"We aim to run him in the steeplechase at Warrnambool in March and could head over to Oakbank with him over the Easter break."
The injury-prone galloper has three jumps wins to his credit from limited starts in jumping races.
HONEST Hamilton mare Jester Halo notched up a well-deserved victory at Morphettville on Saturday.
Jester Halo beat Roselli Sting by a length with Jaguary back in third place in the 1550 metre race.
Trainer Darren Kolpin said punters had to forget her last start at Gawler.
"Jester Halo missed the start by six lengths and travelled wide at Gawler," Kolpin said.
"Punters just had to put a line through that run.
"I was confident she would run well today.
"She's been a very unlucky horse during her career, on many occasions she's had genuine excuses.
"Jester Halo just does not handle soft tracks and she has run on them a few times in her career, which has been unfortunate. Her best form is on good tracks."
Kolpin, who is also the racecourse manager at Hamilton said Jester Halo will be heading back over the border for her next start.
"There's some nice mares races at Morphettville over the next couple of months," he said.
"We'll be heading back over there.
"It's a shame there are no suitable races in Melbourne for her."
Jester Halo has won seven of her 33 starts.
She took her stake earnings to more then $260,000 with the win.
WARRNAMBOOL trainer Lindsey Smith reported to stewards on Sunday that Scales Of Justice had pulled up with filling in both front fetlocks after his unplaced run in the Orr Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
Scales Of Justice will be examined by the stable vet later in the week.
A decision will then be made on the gelding's immediate racing future.
Meanwhile, boom Warrnambool galloper Begood Toya Mother looks certain to miss the Futurity Stakes and the All-Star Mile.
Trainer Daniel Bowman said Begood Toya Mother will be inspected by the vet this week after being buffeted in the Australian Stakes and the Orr Stakes on Saturday.
COLIN Chandler played down the victory of La Tesora over Dabay and Wonaeamirri in a benchmark 54 at Naracoorte on Sunday.
Chandler said it was a long trip from Warrnambool to Naracoorte to win a race with the five-year-old mare.
"She dropped a lot in class to win this race," the respected Warrnambool horsebreaker said.
"She had trialled up well at Camperdown bit she's no world beater. I'll be just trying to find a similar type of race for her next start."
La Tesora has won two of her 27 starts.
PATRICK Ryan will decide on Tuesday morning if three of his jumping contenders run on the flat at Warrnambool on Tuesday.
Ryan accepted with The Other Half, Golden Flag and Bold Bandit but the Warrnambool Cup-winning trainer is concerned the track could be a bit hard for his jumpers.
"We've had not much rain over the past few weeks," Ryan said.
"I'll just see how things are on Tuesday morning.
"It all depends on the weather.
"I may only run one of the three but we'll wait and see."
Bold Bandit could be running in the Great Eastern Steeplechase at Oakbank over the Easter break.
Golden Flag looks a likely Grand Annual Steeplechase runner.
The Other Half may run in the Novice Steeplechase on the middle day of the Warrnambool Carnival.