Girls go for Gold in McEwen
By Mark Ryan aapracing
Odds-on favourite Gold Edition is poised to enhance the recent dominance of the fairer sex in the McEwen Stakes at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
No mare had won the 1000m weight-for-age sprint, first run in 1995 when Sequalo was successful, until Edgeton scored un upset win at $21 in 2004.
The following year Strikeline beat her stablemate Truly Wicked while Miss Andretti brought up the hat-trick for mares last year.
Gold Edition is one of four mares in Saturday's Group Three event and she is expected to notch her 16th win at her 32nd start and further increase her prizemoney earnings of $2.6 million.
Trained at Toowoomba by Ron Maund, Gold Edition is having her first start at Moonee Valley and is unbeaten in two 1000m starts to date.
The four-year-old daughter of Lion Hunter impressed in a solo track gallop with race jockey Damien Oliver aboard at the Valley on Tuesday morning and has previously raced very well the Melbourne way.
She was narrowly beaten by Miss Andretti in the Newmarket Hcp (1200m) at Caulfield last autumn having won both her starts down the straight at Flemington last spring.
Gold Edition won the Group One Ascot Vale Stakes (1200m) by four lengths and five days later romped home by seven lengths in the Listed Schweppes Stakes (1200m).
Maund believes the grey is well suited under the weight-for-age conditions.
The five males in the race, including 2006 Caulfield Guineas winner Wonderful World and the unbeaten Here De Angels, have to carry 58.5kg while the mares have 56kg.
"If it was a handicap she'd be giving weight to all of them," Maund said.
The other mares in the race are fellow Queenslander Devil Inside prepared by Liam Birchley, the speedy Ticklish and the Wendy Kelly-trained Tango Amigo's.
Ticklish, a seven-year-old, has had just three runs for trainer Steven Pinfold since being transferred to him from New Zealand's south island.
The first of those was when she led and ran third behind Miss Andretti and Magnus in the Lightning Stakes (1000m) at the Valley on February 3 this year.
Lee Freedman said he would be surprised if Here De Angels beats Gold Edition on Saturday.
"I'll be surprised but not shocked if he beats Gold Edition giving her 2-1/2 kilos," he said.
"He's a very promising young horse. His races have been hand-picked to this, but now that he's a four-year-old we have to start running him in races that matter and see if he's up to it."
Gold Edition was a $1.65 favourite with TAB Sportsbet ahead of Here De Angels at $3.80, Wonderful World at $9, Ticklish at $10 with Tango Amigo's next best at $18.