Stayer Chasing Back-To-Back Gosford Cup Wins At Newcastle

Trainer Matt Smith says Esti Feny’s patient owners deserve the wins that have finally come their way and that there’s no reason the nine-year-old gelding can’t bring them more joy in the $300,000 Gosford Gold Cup over 2100m to be run at Newcastle on Saturday.

Esti Feny, which initially raced in Europe and won six races there, finally broke through for its first Australian win in last year’s Gosford Gold Cup at the juicy odds of $31.

Esti Feny (Jay Ford) wins last year’s Gosford Gold Cup. Image by Bradley Photographers

He scored his second win out here at his most recent start, in the Mornington Cup over 2400m on April 20 – also at $31.

Bookmakers again have him at big odds for the Gosford Gold Cup (at Newcastle). He’s a $17 chance with TAB.

“The Gosford Gold Cup is a really good race and gee we’d love to win it again,” Smith said.

“Fair to say he’s going better this year than what he was last year, so no reason why he can’t do it again.

“He came back from Melbourne in great shape, so we decided to go to Gosford and he should run a very good race.

‘He’s a nice horse and he’s always worked like a nice horse, but we’ve had to be patient and put up with a few injuries here and there. The owners have been super-patient and we’ve got him going good again now.

“It’s been amazing from them to stick with the horse the way they have. It’s one thing for me to have faith in the horse, but it’s another thing for owners to keep paying training fees for a horse like Esi Feny which has had a lot of soundness issues.

“They’ve stuck with him and stuck with me, so I can’t complain. I’m just happy for them.”

Several lengthy spells, including one when he didn’t race for two years, have meant that despite his age Esti Feny hasn’t even remotely been over-raced. He has had 34 starts for eight wins, four seconds and four thirds.

Smith learned his craft working for some of the best-known trainers the game has seen, including Cups king Bart Cummings and Irishman Aidan O’Brien. He has put those skills to good use in finally getting results from Esti Feny.

“I got some great experience from Adrian and Bart, great trainers and great conditioners of horses,” Smith said. “I get a lot of joy out of preparing horses for staying races and the key things I learned from those two men have stood me in good stead.

“It was all about the preparation for Bart, the foundation the horses got in those campaigns when they were heading up over distance and making sure there was the right sequence of races to bring them to their peak for their main goal.

“There’s plenty of things that can go right and wrong in a preparation, but if you can get the sequence of races right you’ll generally get a better result. If you had your eyes open you couldn’t help but learn a lot by watching Bart.”

Jay Ford rode Esti Feny when it won last year’s cup and will ride him again on Saturday.

– Racing NSW

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