By Isaac Murphy
There will be no more excited viewer in South Australia than travelling trainer Kim Gooding as she watches Kulu Jasper shoot for the biggest win of his career in the Group Three Gold Coast Cup at Albion Park tonight.
Gooding, who trains out of Bentley, slightly north of Casino in New South Wales, said she’d be finding the nearest TV to watch her in form sprinter tackle his first group race.
Gooding said it had been an ideal build up for Kulu Jasper who has seemingly found his best racing as a rising three-year-old.
“It’s been really good to get some continuity in his racing, he’s had a few problems in the past but to be able to race him against the best dogs at Albion each week and see him pull up well is nice,” Gooding said.
“For one of the first times in his career he’s been able to get rock hard fit, to where I’d also be pretty comfortable trying him over the 600m in the near future.”
Gooding admitted the race was the biggest challenge of her chaser’s career, not helped by drawing the pink, but he couldn’t be in better order to take it on.
“He’s never been a quick jumper, but if he gets a clear run he seems to put the 'oomph' in it and races home very well,” she said.
“I would prefer him to be on the inside and the dogs who have drawn there like Fab Fit and Corykodi are definitely quicker than him out, so the greatest challenge is going to be where he sits at the first corner.
“If he manages to get around the corner clean and he’s only one or two lengths behind them going up that back straight I think he’ll be right in the finish.”
Hampered by setbacks earlier in his career Gooding is excited to finally have the opportunity to test Kulu Jasper in bigger events.
“I’ll be looking to put him in the Lismore Cup next, I had him in the qualifiers for the Million Dollar Chase where he came third missing out by a nose for the Lismore final, but I’m really looking forward to putting him in some of the bigger races because he’s holding together so well,” she said.
“He’s done the majority of his racing and trials at Lismore so he knows the track well and the Cup is definitely an achievable goal the target.”
Though Gooding has been travelling it has not stopped her army of Kulu dogs performing well across the country.
“We do all our own breeding and have a lot of Kulu’s racing well in Victoria and New South Wales with other trainers looking after them while I’m away,” she said.