Warrnambool horse Gold Medals looks like being groomed for his fourth crack at the Grand Annual Steeplechase next year.
Trainer Symon Wilde said the gallant 'chaser had come through his second placing to Ablaze in the Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase earlier this month in great shape.
The second placing in the Annual took Gold Medals' record in Australia's feature jumping race to one win and two second placings from three attempts over the 5500-metre journey.
"Gold Medals just gives 100 per cent in his races," Wilde said.
"He put in a wonderful effort to run second to Ablaze. His record in jumps races around Warrnambool is sensational.
"We're thinking of just putting him away again to get ready for next year's Warrnambool May Carnival, but we may consider a start in the Thackeray around Warrnambool in July.
"The preferred option appears to be to bring him back for another tilt at the Brierly and Grand Annual."
With the coronavirus pandemic having a major impact on the Warrnambool May Carnival earlier this month, Wilde said the decision to have the Brierly and the Annual on the same day didn't help the horse's chances.
"The racing industry has done a marvellous job in keeping the sport going," he said.
"In an ideal world it would have helped Gold Medals if the Brierly was on the Tuesday and the Annual was on the Thursday. But it was not to be this year.
"We've used the traditional path with Gold Medals in previous years and it works for him.
"It was a really tough decision this year to decide between running Gold Medals in the Brierly or the Grand Annual.
"We made the choice of running in the Annual and as it's turned out we're not disappointed.
"Gold Medals has been a great horse for his owners and the stable racing from a two-year-old and still racing as a 10-year-old.
"We've got a good paddock at home for Gold Medals when he retires, but we're hoping it's in a couple of more years."
From his 18 jumps starts, Gold Medals has won six races and been in the minor placegetters' stall on nine occasions.
His stake earnings are more than $930,000.
A START in the Apsley Cup is on the cards for the aptly named Tough Vic after he registered his ninth victory in a restricted race at Casterton on Sunday.
Tough Vic led the whole way to defeat Jimmy's Secret by half-a-neck, with Jealous Tycoon in third place in the 2000-metre race.
This year's Apsley Cup, which is normally run at Edenhope, has been transferred to Casterton on June 6 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Young Warrnambool trainer Adam Chambers who puts the polish on Tough Vic said the six-year-old is a great horse to train and praised the ride from local jockey Declan Bates.
"Tough Vic is a big strong horse," Chambers said.
"He's nearly 17 hands. He takes a fair bit of riding.
"It was a big win when you consider he led the whole way and carried 63kg.
"It was a perfect ride by Declan.
"He rated Tough Vic perfectly in the run.
"He was left alone to dictate the pace and that's when he's hard to beat.
"I'll look at running him in the Apsley Cup.
"I think he'll come in on the minimum weight in the Apsley Cup.
"He's shown a liking for Casterton winning two of his three starts there, which is a great record."
From his 48 starts, Tough Vic has won more then $140,000 in stakemoney for his connections.
Tough Vic's stablemate Grassmere Miss won a restricted race over 1100 metres at Hamilton last Thursday.
Chambers has similar types of races in mind for Grassmere Miss in the future.
THREE-year-old filly Comiendo deserved a change of luck to win her maiden at Mount Gambier last week, according to Warrnambool trainer Patrick Ryan.
Comiendo defeated Unsure and Experior in the 900 metre dash.
"She's been knocking on the door for a win," Ryan said.
"She's been a bit unlucky in a couple of her runs.
"We'll just take her through her classes. There's no big goals on the horizon for her."
Comiendo took her stake earnings to more then $15,500 with the win.
STEWARDS found jockey Kate Walters guilty of a careless riding charge after her ride on Unlimited Abilty at Casterton on Sunday.
The charge related to an incident near the 700-metre mark Walters permitted Unlimited Ability to shift in when not clear of Ardeeo, which was restrained to avoid her mounts heels.
She was suspended for eight meetings.
The suspension starts midnight on May 19 and expires May 25.
Meanwhile, Jason Maskiell pleaded guilty to a careless riding charge at Geelong on Friday.
Stewards outed Maskiell for eight meetings following his ride on Herman's Bells.
His suspension started midnight May 19 and ends midnight May 25.
Stewards took into account his guilty plea and good record before handing down the penalty.