The Golden Goat is a name that may not conjure up images of warp speed, but trainer James Peters hopes the debutant will not be sheepish about showing his qualities on Friday night.
Raced by more or less the same group of people behind one of Peters’ stable banners, Magnum, the Waterford Stable, The Golden Goat skipped straight to the lead in his barrier trial on October 25, never to surrender it while displaying a lovely action throughout under Corey Brown.
The Australian jockey will hold on to the reins at his first race in the $65,000 Initiation race over 1100m, in which they have, however, drawn the worst alley (12).
Peters is conscious the bad number is against them, especially at a maiden racing experience, but regardless of how things pan out, he is expecting the Per Incanto four-year-old to make further headway thereafter.
“He came here the winner of a barrier trial in New Zealand, and he trialled quite nicely here, too,” said the English first-year handler.
“He’s pretty light-framed and that’s why I gave him only one barrier trial. He’s only been with us for about three months.”
Unlike Magnum, who landed a lot earlier and made his Kranji debut for Peters’ ex-boss Michael Freedman in August 2015, having already proven to be a useful type with four wins and five placings in 10 outings.
The Golden Goat is by the same sire as Magnum, the very popular New Zealand stallion Per Incanto, but Peters said he was not sure about the background behind the acquisition, other than they were bought around the same time.
“I think they bought both around the same time, so it’s not like they wanted to buy another Per Incanto after Magnum did so well. It’s just The Golden Goat who’s taken a while longer in New Zealand,” said Peters.
“Magnum was more forward and has done so well for us. This one seems to be a nice horse too, he’s drawn wide, but he’s done everything right, and fingers crossed, he goes well.
“Whatever he does, I’m sure there will be more improvement to come out of that first race.”
Peters said Magnum, a fast-finishing fourth to stablemate Spanish Bay in the Group 3 Saas Fee Stakes (1400m) a month ago, was on the other hand, right on course towards his grand final, the $350,0000 Group 2 EW Barker Trophy (1400m) on Friday week.
“He ran the fastest final 400m in the Saas Fee on that day. The pace of the race didn’t quite work out for him,” he said.
“He was drawn wide and it was a frontrunning track on that day. He trialled very well on Tuesday (third to Alibi, an EW Barker rival) and I’m very pleased with him.
“I will just keep him ticking over until next Friday without doing too much with him.”
Magnum will as usual be partnered by Brown while Spanish Bay will also head towards the EW Barker Trophy and is likely to be ridden by French jockey Olivier Placais, with last-start winning partner Nooresh Juglall sticking with the Patrick Shaw-trained Storm Troops.