By Tony Megahey
Goulburn’s Group-winning trainer Kurt Goldman considers his exciting prospect Safe Landing capable of emerging through the TAB Highway series with the impact of stablemate Eckstein who became a Group quality sprinter.
Goldman has the confidence to jump grades from a six-length Goulburn maiden win by Safe Landing into a Class 3, $75,000 (1400m) episode of the TAB Highway at Royal Randwick on Saturday. And an inkling too for far loftier occasions.
“This big unit is a serious racehorse - if we’re jumping grades, the timing and the progression might just be there to be thinking about The Kosciuszko and that prizemoney,” Goldman enthused.
The $1.3 million event is all-consuming for country trainers to be run on the same day at headquarters as the $13 million The Everest.
“The raw ability is there, he’s still learning; he wanders, but he hasn’t been extended.
“He's shown us enough to take him to town where he was runner-up twice in good quality midweek maidens.
“In saying that though, he is entered for Goulburn on Friday where’s he’s got 60kg, whereas at Randwick we’ve got 55kg. That considered, the prizemoney factor and his potential, we’re more inclined for the Highway.”
Safe Landing has the compelling booking of Kerrin McEvoy, further emphasising opinions of the four-year-old (Magic Albert-Miskish) gelding. A wide barrier 12 draw is of little concern for Goldman and Safe Landing will be among the favourites with the dominance of his latest win and the McEvoy influence.
“With his size, I’d rather him have space to settle and build momentum than be cramped up on the inside. Like I said, he did wander about at Goulburn but he has the ability which allowed him to balance up and win by six. And the bigger track and straight will suit him far better than those city midweek races.”
Goldman emerged from early Highway series success with Eckstein, Equal Balance and Ruthless Agent. Eckstein progressed spectacularly to win a Group 3 sprint at Eagle Farm last May beating the classy Egyptian Symbol, and an unlucky photo second to Shoals in the Group 1 Myer sprint at Flemington in November.
Meanwhile, the TAB Highway series moves into an exciting new era with spectacular prizemoney increases and the return of the strong contingent of ACT trainers with previous series success. Among them will be the Matthew Dale, Joseph and Jones stable, and Nick Olive. Both Olive and Dale were young stable foreman for Barbara Joseph before forging spectacular careers.
The TAB series prizemoney has been boosted to $75,000 from $60,000 with prizemoney extending to 10th place.