Jumper Gold Medals to compete at an amazing ninth Warrnambool May Carnival

Few horses in the world could come close to the record Gold Medals will maintain when he steps out at next week’s Warrnambool May Carnival.

The locally-trained Gold Medals will appear at his eighth consecutive, and ninth overall, Warrnambool carnival to tackle another Grand Annual Steeplechase over the gruelling 5500m course on Thursday week.

Gold Medals raced on the flat at his first three May Carnival appearances. He missed a place at his second start as a two-year-old.

He missed the 2013 carnival in favour of the South Australian Derby before returning in 2014 and 2015 with runs on the flat over 1700m. Gold Medals started his charge towards Warrnambool legend status with a win in an open hurdle in 2016.

Gold Medals was unplaced in the 2017 Brierly Steeplechase but returned a year later to win both the Brierly and Grand Annual in epic clashes with fellow star steeplechaser Zed Em.

Gold Medals has produced his trademark gallantry in second placings in the last two Grand Annuals. Zed Em squared the ledger, beating Gold Medals in 2019 while Ablaze consigned the now 11-year-old to the runner-up’s stall last year.

Trainer and part-owner Symon Wilde said Gold Medals was likely to again bypass next Tuesday’s Brierly Steeplechase in favour of going straight into the Grand Annual.

Wilde said winning another Grand Annual would cement Gold Medals’ place as a Warrnambool May Carnival great.

Trainer Symon Wilde and jockey Clayton Douglas celebrate Gold Medals win in the 2018 Grand Annual Steeplechase. Pic: Michael KleinSource:News Corp Australia

He said regular rider Clayton Douglas floated the idea of running Gold Medals in the Brierly Steeplechase after the veteran’s 25-length win in a Warrnambool trial last Friday.

“We’ve got a horse that we know runs the trip and he’s a jet around the course,” Wilde said. “Do we want to risk running in the Brierly and running second, or winning, and not being able to back up in the Annual?

“He probably could win the Brierly but I just don’t want to jeopardise the Grand Annual.

“If he won another Brierly, it wouldn’t make much difference, but if he won another Grand Annual it would add to his legacy at the Warrnambool carnival.

“He’s got this year and next year to race then he has to retire. I think, at this stage, we’ll head to the Grand Annual.”

Wilde said Gold Medals would go into the Grand Annual in great shape after his latest trial win. He said Gold Medals was much sharper than in other trials.

Gold Medals, with Shane Jackson aboard, clears a hurdle at Warrnambool back in 2016. Photo: Todd Nicholson: Racing Photos.Source:Supplied

“I just think those older horses, they can just get bored of following them around in trials all the time so I said to Clayton, ‘bounce him out of the gates and just have his head in front’,” Wilde said.

“He jumped the last and Clayton gave him a good dig and he drew right away.

“Clayton came back with a big smile on his face. He was so happy with him.”

Gold Medals would also achieve the milestone of earning $1 million in prizemoney if he can win his second Grand Annual Steeplechase.

Originally published asMarvel chasing another Gold Medal in Annual

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