Horse Racing

Gosford preview: Gerald Ryan is expecting to see a sharper Zoumist

A return to the scene of her booming first-up win, this time with a set of blinkers on, could see Zoumist restore her reputation as a filly going places.

The Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou-trained three-year-old turned heads when she charged past her rivals to win at Gosford at her first run of the 2020/21 season.

Since then, Zoumist has been beaten at her subsequent two appearances, one each at Rosehill and Royal Randwick.

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Zoumist (yellow) returns to the track and distance of her impressive first-up win. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

On Friday, she heads back to Gosford for an easier race, the BJ Howes Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m) aided by the 2kg claim for Tyler Schiller.

“She struggled a little bit in the ground at Randwick last start but she is just not putting herself into the races early,” Ryan explained.

“So we have worked her quite a bit with blinkers on and she is a lot sharper and that’s why I went back to Gosford.

“I didn’t know whether she was an off the pace sprinter or she was going to run a mile. With the blinkers on, I am starting to think she is an off the pace sprinter, a bit like her pedigree.

“She is going well. This track is not ideal for her but I wanted to go somewhere where they would run along a bit and you can let her settle off the speed and see if she can hit the line.”

Ryan is eager to see what the lightly-raced and classically bred filly Jauhera can do when she makes it to 1900m in Friday’s Sharp DS Central Coast Maiden Plate.

Born, bred, raised and retained by Emirates Park, Jauhera is bred to win an Oaks being a Sadler’s Wells descendant with English Derby winner Nashwan close up in her family tree.

She is also a very close relative of our own champion filly, Atlantic Jewel.

Adrian Layt (left) will again partner Jauhera for trainers Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou.Source:Supplied

“She is going like a filly that will run the 1900m quite easy,” Ryan said.

“I said to Emirates, you get staying fillies coming through that you just don’t know where they end up. I think it was in January or February last year, I was at Newcastle on a Saturday and I saw that little thing of Godolphin’s (Colette) win a maiden over 1800m and it’s come out and won the Oaks and the Golden Eagle.

“Not saying this filly is going to do that, but you just don’t know where three-year-old fillies end up.”

Ryan and Alexiou saddled-up one of the top picks on the Pirtek Central Coast Class 1 Handicap (1600m) on Sonic Tycoon who was a decisive three length winner over 1500m on debut on December 6.

“I think the 1600m will probably pull him up,” Ryan said.

“But he has been ready to go the races a few times but the races have either been called off or it’s been too wet or he’s drawn a bad barrier.

“He is a horse who is improving and this being his first prep, next time around he might be a nice handy horse.”

BOWEN HOPING FOR A TOUGH OF LUCK IN BALLINA CUP BID

Luck, more so than talent, is what could be the difference between winning and losing when it comes to Daniel Bowen’s Ballina Cup hopeful, Antilia.

The daughter of Not A Single Doubt is well equipped on the talent side of the ledger, forever remembered for beating subsequent Thousand Guineas winner Amphitrite in a Kyneton Maiden back in March 2018.

Antilia has been housed at Lismore with Daniel Bowen for a little over a year now with Friday’s Ballina Cup her first and main mission in 2021.

The mare’s wide draw was a blow but not a knockout says Bowen, who is trusting in the prolific Matthew McGuren to give her the best possible way home in the 1590 town feature.

“I would imagine for her to win that race she is going to need a little bit of luck and to get in somewhere and save a little bit for the finish,” Bowen said.

“She has just taken a bit of time to get fit but she has set for race and she has been trained to peak.

“Like I said, we have to play with the cards we have been dealt and so be it.”

Trainer Daniel Bowen, jockey Matthew McGuren and owner Stephen Butcher combine with Antilia in the Ballina Cup and Country Championship hopeful, Amirykal, on Friday.Source:News Regional Media

Bowen ran fourth in the 2020 Ballina Cup with Queen Of Kingston who also ran fourth to Noble Boy in the 2019 Country Championship Final.

Queen of Kingston, Antilia and the Ballina-bound counterpart Amirykal all race in the colours of Lismore baker, Steve Butcher.

Amirykal is on a Country Championships path in 2021, kicking off in Friday’s The Tursa Dart over 1000m.

“She trialled all right the other day, she wasn't out to break any records, just to have a little bit of a pipe-opener,” Bowen said.

“At a 1000m, from barrier five hopefully she is not too far back. if she runs second or third and is hitting the line, that’s great, it is all about getting to Sydney with here.

“She will run one more time before the Heat at Coffs,’’ Bowen said. “She is a classy horse and she is in good order.”

Coffs Harbour hosts the first heat of the Country Championship Qualifier on Saturday 13 February followed the next day at Nowra.

Originally published asGosford Preview: Focused Zoumist ready to zoom

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