Group 1 winning mare El Dorado Dreaming heads up the nominations for the $1m The Gong (1600m) at the Metropolitan status stand alone meeting at Kembla Grange on Saturday.

El Dorado Dreaming, above, is among the nominations for the 2019 The Gong at Kembla Grange.

El Dorado Dreaming, above, is among the nominations for the 2019 The Gong at Kembla Grange.

El Dorado Dreaming in one of four Kris Lees trained gallopers among the twenty-five nominations for the inaugural running of the 1600m Quality Handicap.

Lees’ other entries are eight year old Articus, former Kiwi trained mare Nicoletta and restricted class galloper Turnberry.

El Dorado Dreaming hit the spotlight during her two year old season with a win in the Group 1 $1m Inglis Sires’ (1400m) at Randwick during the 2018 Sydney Autumn Carnival and has been Group 1 placed on three occasions since.

The Ilovethiscity mare has had two runs as a four year old for a first up seventh in the Group 2 $200,000 Tooheys 150th Birthday Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on September 14 followed by a third in the Group 2 $500,000 Hot Danish Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on November 9.

El Dorado Dreaming is a get back and run on horse and Hot Danish jockey Andrew Gibbons said that a bit more speed up front would have suited her better on that occasion.

“She has come back really good this time. I would have liked to of rolled just half a second quicker in those middle stages and I think she would have challenged the winner. It was a good effort,” Gibbons said.

Group 1 performer Star Of The Seas heads up trainer Chris Waller’s four nominations for The Gong, along with Asterius, Gresham and Mister Sea Wolf.

Star Of The Seas was as handy third two starts back in the Group 1 $1m Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on October 5 while English import Mister Sea Wolf was the winner of the Group 2 $200,000 Toohey’s 150th Birthday Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on September 28.

Last Saturday’s Mooloolaba Cup winner The Candy Man and fellow Queenslander Looks Like Elvis are also among the nominations for The Gong.

El Dorado Dreaming has been installed as the $5 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for The Gong just ahead of the Star Of The Seas at $6 and the John Sargent trained Luvaluva at $7.

Early betting for the 2019 The Gong at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5 El Dorado Dreaming, $6 Star Of The Seas, $7 Luvaluva, $8 Military Zone, Mister Sea Wolf, $12 Looks Like Elvis, Dr Drill, Noble Boy, $14 Nicoletta, Quackerjack, $15 Articus, Asterius, $19 Ranier, $21 The Candy Man, $26 Goodfella, $31 Jonker, Taikomochi, $34 Tamarack, $51 Gresham, Sir Plush, Strome, $61 Testashadow, $101 Turnberry, $201 All But Gone, Esteem Spirit.

Nominations for the 2019 The Gong (1600m)

# Last 10 Horse Sex Age Trainer Hcp Rating
1 0378701×71 ALL BUT GONE G 8 Damien Lane 64
2 x375561276 ARTICUS (FR) G 8 Kris Lees 91
3 720x312x71 ASTERIUS G 5 Chris Waller 88
4 2421218211 DR DRILL (GB) G 5 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace 99
5 033x432x73 EL DORADO DREAMING M 4 Kris Lees 102
6 45118×2861 ESTEEM SPIRIT G 5 Gwenda Markwell 74
7 882x728x39 GOODFELLA H 5 Bjorn Baker 93
8 x7243333x4 GRESHAM G 5 Chris Waller 86
9 3923×56080 JONKER H 4 David Atkins 93
10 4121116832 LOOKS LIKE ELVIS G 5 Bryan Dais 97
11 x823854x25 LUVALUVA (NZ) M 5 John Sargent 98
12 1x6121x757 MILITARY ZONE G 4 Peter & Paul Snowden 96
13 0x1200x610 MISTER SEA WOLF (IRE) G 8 Chris Waller 108
14 7x67714x06 NICOLETTA (NZ) M 6 Kris Lees 103
15 141116×443 NOBLE BOY G 5 Todd Blowes 94
16 0x13216x31 QUACKERJACK G 4 Mark Newnham 89
17 564×031042 RANIER G 4 James Cummings 87
18 387421×060 SIR PLUSH (NZ) G 7 Bjorn Baker 95
19 13211×4939 STAR OF THE SEAS (NZ) G 5 Chris Waller 101
20 6x1213x941 STROME M 5 Gary Portelli 87
21 4x221400x3 TAIKOMOCHI G 6 Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott 94
22 10x1798x52 TAMARACK (NZ) G 6 Joseph Pride 89
23 6×95593034 TESTASHADOW G 8 Gary Portelli 90
24 110×600771 THE CANDY MAN G 6 Barry Baldwin 97
25 3151545×03 TURNBERRY G 5 Kris Lees 85

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.