BLACK BOOK

Almond Lee searches for ‘gold’ as licence threat nears

Local handler needs to produce 15 winners this season or he could find himself excluded from the training ranks, and Wingold looks likely to be a banner horse

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 January, 2016, 6:12pm
UPDATED : Monday, 04 January, 2016, 6:17pm

Trainer Almond Lee is walking the plank again this season, needing to meet the performance criteria to prevent a ‘show cause’ situation, but Wingold looks ready to make his contribution for the yard.

In fact, Wingold had advertised himself as a coming prospect behind Jolly Jolly on international day when the four-year-old struck trouble in the home straight and should have finished closer in a good standard Class Three.

On Friday, he got a drop in class and got well back before finding the line strongly behind Snow Slider over 1,400m. This was a race dominated by on-pacers, with three of the first four home racing in the first three around the home turn, so run-ons look the ones to follow.

Up ahead of him, Hastily Feet was unmissable charging for second after giving Brett Prebble some issues in the final 400m but Wingold’s finishing burst matched that horse’s sectionals, even if it was more disguised in seventh.

In a handful of starts in New Zealand at two and three, Wingold had won his debut – usually a good indicator – before a patchy sort of record afterwards. Notably, his races were all on wet ground but he is well suited on firm ground as he showed on Friday. Wingold has not been tried over further than 1,400m and may handle a mile but, even if kept to 1,400m, should soon find the right race.

John Size’s yard has become upwardly mobile in the last month and the return of G-One Bo Bo from a long break with injury was a real eye-grabber in the sixth.

He had not raced since March, had surgery in May then a recurrence of injury in November, so nobody was expecting much from the five-year-old on Friday.

But, sitting three wide all the way, he was still fighting out the finish in the final 200m before just missing a place. It was a huge performance that makes you wonder if it might leave him flat after so long on the sidelines, but it was also a clear indicator G-One Bo Bo has returned in good shape and looks certain to break his maiden soon off his current rating.