The inaugural The Gong meeting will be held at Kembla Grange this Saturday. The course proper was rated a Good 4 on Thursday and with fine weather in Sydney leading up to the weekend, Kembla Grange will be racing on a Good track on race day.
Top weight Peyton Place is the class horse and he is primed to take out the Highway Handicap (Sydney Race 2, 1600m). The Greg Stephens-trained 4YO won 1st up over 1400m on 4th October before two placings in his subsequent two runs. He is ready to peak being 4th up on Saturday and will run out a strong mile. Chris Williams will be claiming 3kg on the gelding and will drop his weight down to 56.5kg. From barrier 11, Williams will go straight to the front and Peyton Place could be hard to catch.
Good mare Luvaluva should make her presence felt in The Gong (Sydney Race 6, 1600m). This 5YO mare had done a pretty good job in his first two runs this campaign. She was particularly impressive with her latest 5th in the Group 2 Hot Danish Stakes (1400m) coming from last from a wide gate to be beaten only 2.8 lengths. Stepping up to the mile 3rd up looks ideal and she has a pretty good record over 1600m. Luvaluva is proven at this venue as she took out the Kembla Grange Classic over this track & trip in March 2018. Drawn better in barrier 6 and with blinkers on, Luvaluva will comfortably settle mid-field with plenty of cover. And with only 53kg, Luvaluva will finish the race strongly.
The ever consistent Trumbull is all set to breakthrough for his first win this preparation in the BM 78Handicap (Sydney Race 8, 1200m). The Kim Waugh-trained gelding has finished with two 2nds and two 3rds from 4 starts this campaign. Fifth-up on Saturday, he is rock hard fit and will run out a strong 1200m. The in-form James McDonald will be on board and that’s another plus. With reasonable pace in the race, McDonald is going to settle somewhere mid-field from the nice gate (6) and Trumbull is going to unleash strongly down the long Kembla straight.
By Owens Wong, Editor