Nobel sets sights on Golden Gift payday

Tommy Berry delivered Annabel Neasham her first Group One win as a trainer and he can provide her with another important success if he claims the $1 million Golden Gift aboard Nobel.

The 1100m sprint holds no black-type status but its prizemoney purse will ensure the winner and runner-up book themselves a start in next year’s Golden Slipper.

While that is significant for any two-year-old, it is particularly true for Nobel, a son of Exceed And Excel who was bought for $2.1 million by Aquis Farm’s owners, the Fung family.

The colt made his debut in the Inglis Banner at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day, settling back in the field and having to weave between runners in the straight before hitting the line hard for third.

Berry believes that decision to season the youngster with an interstate excursion could prove a winning move.

“Annabel was very keen for me to ride him and said he’d done really well,” Berry said.

“A trip away can really make a two-year-old as well. I’m keen on his chances, even though he’s got an awkward draw (barrier eight).”

James Mcdonald was aboard Nobel in his only official barrier trial and race start but will be at Flemington on Saturday where his mounts include the Neasham-trained Zaaki in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes.

Berry has already sounded out his jockey room rival for some feedback on Nobel and was happy with what he heard.

“He didn’t have a clean run in the straight (on debut) and when he balanced up, he hit the line strongly,” Berry said.

“James was praising him and said he felt like a really nice two-year-old.”

Nobel is being kept safe in betting and is a $8.50 chance with TAB fixed odds, which has the Joe Pride-trained Shalatin as a $4.20 favourite ahead of Breeders’ Plate winner Sejardan ($5).

About RS NewsWire

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