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Gothenburg to go one better at 2nd start

Twenty years after Merlene beat Paint in the Golden Slipper, the runner-up’s trainer has high hopes for one of the winner’s sons.

Merlene didn’t race again after winning the 1996 Sires’ Produce Stakes so was never tested over a distance.

Gerald Ryan, who trains Gothenburg, says the colt will be a stayer and he has his second career start over 1600 metres at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.

He made his debut at the same track two weeks ago over 1400 metres, finishing a half length second to Krusty.

The Joe Pride-trained Krusty and third-placed Gracious Grey from the Ron Quinton stable will also line up in the Hyland Race Colours Handicap.

“He’s a lovely horse and a lovely looking horse,” Ryan said.

“The first three from his first race are all in again.

“He is by High Chaparral so he is bred to be a stayer and he looks like a stayer so the 1600 should suit.”

The Chris Waller-trained Axiomatic is the early favourite for Wednesday’s race following her 1500m-win in a Kembla Grange maiden on December 10.

Despite his potential ability over a distance, Ryan said Gothenburg would not be pushed to the Australian Derby (2400m) in April.

“This is only his first preparation so it’s unlikely,” Ryan said.

The trainer does have Derby ambitions for stablemate Harper’s Choice, a last-start winner over 1500m at Kembla Grange.

“Harper’s Choice will run in the 1800 metre race at Randwick on Monday,” Ryan said.

Ryan confirmed Summer Cup winner Red Excitement would head to the Gosford Cup (2100m) on January 13 after proving himself over 2000 metres in Monday’s Randwick feature.

A stable favourite, Red Excitement led all the way in the Summer Cup and was still strong on the line, maintaining a three-length margin over the runner-up Foreign Prince.

“I have always thought he would get 2000 metres,” Ryan said.

“The Gosford Cup is where he goes next. He’s pulled up well.”

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