Gelding to bring out best in Earlswood

Maddie Raymond is banking on a gelding operation producing the best from Earlswood (GB). 

The UK-bred galloper arrived in Australia in late 2021 and immediately made an impact, taking out the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) at Caulfield in February 2022. In eight starts since however, Earlswood (GB) has not troubled the scorers with a best finish of fifth, coming 14 months ago in an 1800m race at Sandown. 

Earlswood (GB) has not raced since beating only one runner home in the Group 3 Coongy Cup (2000m) at Caulfield last October and is entered for a heat of the Winter Championship (1400m) at Sandown on Saturday. 

Raymond has two options regarding the first-up run of Earlswood (GB); picture Racing Photos

Raymond said Earlswood (GB) would be among acceptances for Saturday's race, although she said a study of the final field would determine whether he takes his place or is kept for a race at Flemington on Saturday week. 

"He'll either kick-off this weekend or next weekend at Flemington, but we'll likely accept with him and have a look and see what we think," Raymond said. 

"He's come back a gelding and hopefully he can find himself back to his best again. A couple of times he went shin-sore on us, just adjusting to our surfaces over here, so hopefully that's all behind us now." 

Earlswood (GB) came to Australia with impressive credentials, winning twice at Group 3 level at The Curragh in Ireland. 

After winning first-up in the Carlyon Cup, seven of Earlswood's next eight starts were in black-type company, with his only start outside of stakes grade coming in that Sandown 1800m performance. 

Earlswood (GB) has had two jump-outs in preparation for his return. His first one was over 850m at Donald on May 13 before winning his most recent over 1000m at Terang on May 28. 

"I've been happy with how he's come up this time," Raymond said. "But I want to see him back at the races doing his best before I go planning too much for him." 

A total of 24 horses have been nominated for Saturday's race with the final field to be declared on Wednesday.