Gladstone will have to overcome several hurdles but jockey, Ben Kennedy, is optimistic the Dylan Thomas gelding can rise to the challenge and cause a mini upset in the $100,000 XXXX-Broome Cup (2200m) on Saturday.
Gladstone is one of three starters in the race for leading Broome trainer, Rob Gulberti and at $12 the least supported by punters with stable mate Galaxon the $3.50 favourite and Desert Glow $7 on the TAB.
Gladstone, who is seeking to go one better after finishing second to Central Park in last year’s Broome Cup, has to contend with equal top weight of 60kg, an awkward draw and recover from a poor run two weeks ago.
The six-old, at his first appearance in Broome for the season, was no match for Gold Broker in the Kimberley Cup (2020m), making little impact in the field of eight when he finished 9 ½ lengths adrift of the winner.
Kennedy says Gladstone may not have adapted to the Broome conditions after a long float trip from Perth and expects the gelding to bounce back and show marked improvement.
“It was a long trek for him and racing a couple of days later he didn’t acclimatise to the conditions,” said Kennedy on TAB Radio.
“He should improve a lot on his last run, the ability is definitely there and he did run second in this race last year
“It’s my first ride in a Broome Cup and I’m really hoping and thinking the big grey can do the job for me.”
Galaxon is chasing his fourth win and third major feature this campaign after victory in the Derby Cup (1800m), Contracting Cup (1800m) and Port Hedland Cup (2200m).
The Saxon seven-year-old can give trainer Rob Gulberti his first win in the Broome Cup after his father, Gary, placed on five previous occasions.
Kyra Yuill retains the ride on Galaxon and starts from barrier four.
Gold Broker, prepared by Frank Maynard, is challenging Galaxon for favouritism after his powerful on pace win in the Kimberley Cup (2020m).
“It’s a very trick race but if there is one horse that won well the other day was Galaxon,” said Kennedy.
“If he can take that turn of foot into the Broome Cup he will be very hard to beat.
“Gold Broker’s form has been good and you can’t knock him.”
Gold Broker, drawn in barrier six for Michael Heagney, is on the second line of betting at $3.80.
Desert Glow, who ran an eye-catching second to Gold Broker in the Kimberley Cup, will be ridden by Broome Cup specialist, Peter Hall.
The Desert King gelding is at $6.50.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli