Taree’s wily veteran Tony Ball with a penchant for discards and a knack with outsiders, holds big value in the TAB Highway with $26 chance Bantarki.
The trainer also has runners in later races into Saturday’s booming Gosford meeting.
The unprecedented prizemoney of the Listed-Gosford Gold Cup, Takeover Target Sprint and The Coast features typically has drawn class and depth for an enthralling raceday.
And Ball, with the wisdom and nous as a decade long Godolphin foreman, rarely misses with his rare trips to city and provincial meetings.
As he jumps grades with improving and consistent three-year-old Bantarki with 54kg for Regan Bayliss in the $120,000 Class 3, 1200m Highway.
And also, later races with more experienced stablemates Time for Victory ($26) and Xtra Approval ($151) who have won 10 races between them.
“Cheeky chances for sure, up in grade certainly but dropping a stack in weight, drawn well and form on rain-affected if the track plays that way,” Ball enthused.
Bantarki has won and placed for Ball after being a maiden with two previous stables.
“Grant Buckley who has won on them, says the timing and the form is right for a crack. He’s happy to stick and that’ll do me.
“Looking forward to a great racing day. We’d planned for a way back and this level of prizemoney when they struck winning form this prep.”
Lightly raced Bantarki after carrying 59.5kg and 58.5kg for an on-pace Port Macquarie win and a placing with Buckley, drops to 54kg for Bayliss and Ball is not deterred by barrier 13.
“I’m anticipating coming in a few, three emergencies are drawn inside. This gelding is no star but he’s a consistent trier and “Bucko” says he’s on the up.
“I mean he drops 5kg, we’ll be on the pace, handles ground and it’s still only a country Class 3.”
And Ball, who was at Godolphin mainly during the Snowden era, was as enthusiastic about five-race winner Time for Victory in race six.
“This gelding is tough, won and placed with 64.5kg and 62.5kg, drops to 54kg and loves the sting out of the ground.”
At present Gosford is a Soft 5 in fine weather.
– Racing NSW