Symon Wilde has labelled Gold Medals a marvel after he gave the Warrnambool trainer his first win in the Brierly Steeplechase.
Gold Medals, a rising nine-year-old, is a stable favourite for Wilde having begun his career with a debut win on his home track as a two-year-old in April, 2012.
As a three-year-old he was placed at Flemington during Melbourne Cup week and is also a Cup winner having won the Terang feature last year.
He is also a winner over hurdles and Tuesday’s win in the Brierly at Warrnambool is his second over the bigger fences after his Australian Steeplechase win at Sandown last year.
Gold Medals is now the winner of 11 of his 63 starts and more than $530,000 prize money.
Ridden by Shane Jackson, Gold Medals ($6) beat the $4.20 favourite Zed Em by a half-length with Monarch Chimes ($4.80) four lengths away third.
“He’s my favourite horse in the yard and about the only one I ride all the time,” Wilde said.
“He’s pretty special.”
Wilde, who trained in partnership with his father Bill for a number of years before taking over in his own right, said he was thrilled to have finally won the Brierly.
“It’s a race we’ve always wanted to win,” he said.
“We’ve run four or five placings. We’ve won a couple of Cups and the Wangoom and what we need now is the Annual and we get the full deck.”
Wilde accepted with Gold Medals in Thursday’s Grand Annual Steeplechase over 5500m.
He said how the gelding recovers would determine whether he backs up.
“We’re definitely not discounting having a crack on Thursday,” Wilde said.
“Sometimes you have to take a chance.
“He’s not going to get in with that weight in this race again and if the ground stays good it won’t be as testing the distance.”
There was drama early when the Darren Weir-trained Now And Zen ($8) lost rider John Allen at the first fence of the 3450m-race.
Now And Zen galloped on and carted Zataglio off the track with rider Martin Kelly taking evasive action, ending up on the course proper.
A veterinary examination post-race showed Now And Zen had come through his escapade unscathed as did Allen who went on to win a flat race on Tradesman.