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Shooting For Gold on target for winter assault

Thu 14 April 2022

By Glenn Davis

The training partnership of Steve O’Dea and Matt Hoysted are hopeful Shooting For Gold can bounce back from a “forgettable” summer when the gelding makes his return to racing at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Shooting For Gold and stablemate Kylease both resume in the Listed Ascot Handicap over 1000 metres which also marks the return of star sprinter Zoustyle.

Shooting For Gold had only two starts during the summer and hasn’t raced since finishing fifth to stablemate Totally Charmed in the Listed Bribie Handicap at Eagle Farm in mid-December.

Kylease hasn’t raced since tailing off last in the Bribie but has a good first-up record with two wins from five starts.

“Both of them are going fantastic and have trialled well,” Hoysted said.

“He’s had two barrier trials and both were outstanding.

“His first trial was over 650 metres at Deagon when he finished second and then he won over 1000 metres at Caloundra.

“But it’ll be hard for him to take on Zoustyle and win over 1000 metres.”

Hoysted will give Shooting For Gold his next start in the Listed ATC Cup over 1200 metres at the Gold Coast on May 7 before deciding on a TAB Queensland Racing Carnival program.

“We want to get through his first few runs back to see where he sits in the pecking order,” he said.

“It’s the first time he’s taking on better class horses after a forgettable last campaign.

“He was disadvantaged at the weights when he ran third to Zoustyle first-up at the Sunshine Coast last time in and then he flipped in the barriers and was scratched from the George Moore Stakes so we then ran him in the Bribie.”

Stable apprentice Jaden Lloyd has the booking for Shooting For Gold while New Zealand-born hoop Sam Collett will partner Kylease.

Hoysted said Kylease will head to the broodmare barn after the winter but was always a good performer first-up.

“She’s also had two barrier trials and was a dominant winner both times and she always performs well fresh,” Hoysted said.

“It’s a very good race and she races well early in her preparation.”

Hoysted believes Zoustyle is the major threat to both Shooting For Gold and Kylease.

The Tony Gollan-trained Zoustyle is resuming after winning the Group 3 George Moore Stakes at Doomben in the summer before a last start fifth in the Listed Falvelon Stakes at Doomben on Boxing Day.