By Tony Megahey
Kurt Goldman, making an impact in Group and Listed events, has a vibe for bigger occasions with unbeaten Ruthless Agent in the TAB $60,000 Highway Plate (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Ruthless Agent, which will carry 57.5kg for Blake Shinn in another typically deep Highway, has been set for the upcoming Country Championships and the Goulburn leg is on Goldman’s home track.
Multiple Highway winners, Matthew Dale, Matthew Dunn and Terry Robinson are again represented in another episode of quality on Saturday, leading into the highly anticipated Provincial and Country Championships at Royal Randwick in April.
“We’ve always had a big opinion of Ruthless Agent and he’s done all we expected and more,” Goldman enthused.
“We decided to target the Country Championships way back when he won a Gold Coast maiden.
“He put two more strong wins together and we’ve spaced his races to give him time to mature and get more experience.
“I’m confident he’s prepared to get a strong ‘1500’ on Saturday but these Highways are tough to win; deep form races.
“The form has really stood up in better races, especially with the three-year-olds.
“Our filly Eckstein was my first Highway winner at Randwick back in October, then she ran a super third in the Gold Coast Guineas and has won four from five.
“The three-year-olds are well placed in Highways because like I said, they go on to bigger races.
“Hopefully Ruthless Agent can do the same, he’s certainly progressing that way and we’ll know more on Saturday.
“All going well, we’ll give him a break before the Goulburn Country Championships.”
An outside gate has complicated matters for Goldman though with Ruthless Agent set to jump from barrier 14.
The young trainer rose to prominence when locally bred sprinter Hellbent landed a nation-wide plunge, winning the 2016 Inglis Dash at Flemington for Poidevin Paradise Syndicate and 1980’s Wallaby Allan Cardy. Ruthless Agent races for the same connections.
Hellbent was later sold to Victorian interests and has won several races for premiership trainer Darren Weir.