Distance rise key to Bride’s Gosford Cup bid

Two horses at opposite ends of their racing careers will book end trainer Bjorn Baker’s team of runners at Gosford and both have points to prove.

Seven-year-old Kiss The Bride returns to the Central Coast circuit for the first time in more than three years to tackle the Listed Gosford Gold Cup (2100m), while juvenile Champers Girl will make the leap from a feature race win at Orange to Saturday metropolitan grade.

Kiss The Bride has a win and a second from his two starts at Gosford, albeit early in his career, but needs to lift from a disappointing performance in the Hawkesbury Cup when he led and finished among the tailenders.

Baker is hoping a 500m distance rise to a more suitable journey will help the gelding rebound and prove he can still be competitive at stakes level.

“He rolled along and just wasn’t up to it late at Hawkesbury, but he looks fantastic and he will be better at the 2100 metres,” Baker said.

“He’ll jump and put himself in the first half dozen and make his own luck.”

Champers Girl will need to go to another level again from her debut performance in the Silver Apple (1010m) at Orange when she led and defied all attempts to run her down.

But she had trialled well in the lead-up, showing enough ability for Baker to enter her for the winter carnival features in Brisbane.

“If she runs well, we’ll definitely consider heading up there,” Baker said.

“She won really well at her first start and she’s an athletic filly so I think we’ve got to give her an opportunity.

“I think 1200 will be good for her and she has got ability.”

The pair will be among six Gosford runners for Baker, who will be represented in two of the three feature races with his Group-winning sprinter Shades Of Rose to contest the Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m).

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