Goulburn preview: Master Joe to kick off the day on a winning note

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Following on from an eye-catching debut, a four-year-old gelding can land the prize at start number two at Goulburn.

Local trainer Scott Collings says Master Joe just improves each time he steps onto the track which is why he’s backing him to run a big race in the opener at Goulburn on Friday.

The Unencumbered four-year-old stays at 1000m for start two after running second at his home track on debut three weeks ago.

He got a bit of late support when backed in from $11 to $9 but wasn’t one of the favoured runners.

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Collings said he even surprised him but only a little bit.

“I thought the horse would run well but I was surprised with just how well he went considering where he drew,” Collings said.

“He won his first barrier trial then stepped up and trialled even better so every time we’ve lifted he bar he’s improved.”

He’s drawn better this time in gate five and with extra fitness under his belt he’s set to run a few lengths better this time.

“I think he’s improved and come along really nicely since his first-up run and this looks like a nice race for him at home,” Collings said.

“It’s a nice gate for him and there should be a couple of scratchings so it looks like a good race.

“He’s a lot more focused on what he’s got to do now and there’s still a lot more upside with the horse so I’m looking forward to this race.

“He’s taken a lot out of that debut run, mentally. He’s not overly big but he’s still strong and is coming along nicely.

“It was a really good debut effort. We were only beaten about half a length and there was three lengths back to the third horse so we spaced the rest of the field.”

Collings admitted he would’ve liked Friday’s race to be a country maiden but he’s still confident his horse can be in the finish.

“We’re in a provincial maiden now but considering how he went on debut I think he deserves a chance in a race like this,” he said.

“I don’t think the heavy track will worry him. He’s worked on it at home and he’ll run in the first race before it gets too chopped up.”

GROTH’S BARGAIN BUY PROVING A SOUND INVESTMENT

Gavin Groth bought Foreign Brother for less than $10,000 on an online sale and every time he goes around, he’s just making his connections a profit.

“He’s paid for himself several times over. It doesn’t happen very often but it has with this bloke,” Groth said.

Groth runs the four-year-old in the sixth race at Tamworth on Friday and he’s searching for his fifth career win.

Three of his four career wins have come under Groth who is getting the best out of his horse.

“He’s going really well and the horse has just improved out of sight,” Groth said.

“When we first got him, I gave him a run at home and it was a bit of a rush job. We only had him a fortnight and I just threw him in a 1000m race to have a look at him.

“He ran sixth but he needed the run and it really brought him on. I backed him up a week later where he came out and won by four lengths at Narrabri and then he just went on from there.

“It must have given him confidence and I did my homework on him and when he was at his old stable, he seemed to race his best when he was high balling out in front.”

Foreign Brother comes into Friday’s race off a third placing at Dubbo two weeks ago and his regular rider is the reason why he’s backing up for his 12th run this preparation.

“Last start he did a fair bit of work and they took him on from a wider gate which might be the case on Friday but he’s back in distance and that will help,” Groth said.

“After his last run, I told Matthew Palmer that I’d spell him and he told me not to because there’s nothing wrong with him and he’s just run a huge race.

“He said ‘trust me he’ll be winning again soon’.”

Groth is keen to run Annie’s Street in the eighth race after last running seventh at Dubbo four weeks ago.

Prior to that she beat home the tough customer Two Big Fari in the Gunnedah Cup.

“I need to run her because she’s been a month between runs and she’s going very well,” Groth said.

She’s targeted at another race later in her preparation and hasn’t raced for some time but she’s still capable of being in the finish this start as she jumps from barrier 14.

“It’s hard to say they’re a wining chance but she’s definitely an each-way chance. She won’t let us down because she tries so hard,” Groth said.

And her last run wasn’t something punters should worry about despite running nearly six lengths off the winner.

“Put a line through the last run when it was a biased track when they couldn’t make ground,” Groth said.

“I think she’ll run well on a heavy track. The rail is out 5m but we’ve all got to put up with that and she’s ticking over nicely.”



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