Decision looms for Gold Medals

This Thursday marks four weeks until the Warrnambool May Racing Carnival and D-day is looming regarding whether Gold Medals makes a historic 10th appearance at the jumps extravaganza.

Trainer Symon Wilde will in the next week get serious with the 12-year-old’s work to determine whether he attempts to defend his Grand Annual Steeplechase crown.

The Elvstroem gelding has been prepared with the intention to run in the 5500-metre marathon on May 5 but Wilde said a decision on whether he heads that way will be made early this month.

“I’m going to decide next week whether he goes on or not,” Wilde said from Bendigo on Saturday.

“We’ve got to the stage now where we’ve got to decide, do we go or we do we not?

“Part of me thinks it would be a great way to retire – going out as winner, having won his first start and having won his last – so unless he’s flying and impresses me in gallops I think we’ll pull the pin.

“We’ll give him a good bit of work and if he’s still got a zest for racing and gallops well, we’ll go on, but I’m not going to be there just to make up the numbers with him. He’s been too good to us.”

Gold Medal won at Warrnambool on debut before finishing seventh of 12 in the 2YO Handicap on Day 3 of the 2012 Carnival.

The only Warrnambool Carnival he has missed since was the following year when he ran in the Group 1 South Australian Derby, which was run two days after the Grand Annual.

He finished midfield in 1700m races in both 2014 and 2015 and won his first jumps race in the Novice Hurdle (3200m) at the 2016 Carnival.

After a sixth placing in the 2017 Brierly Steeplechase (3450m) Gold Medals won the Brierly/Grand Annual Steeplechase double in 2018 and was runner-up in those two races in 2019.

He was again runner-up in the 2020 Grand Annual, denied by Ablaze, before going one better in last year’s Grand Annual.

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