Nickelback hoping Gosford meeting ends with a No.1 hit

Lightly raced improver Nickelback is set to strike on a drier surface and break through for his maiden win at Gosford today.

The three-year-old contests the Toohey’s Maiden Handicap (1200m) and looks to have a class edge on his rivals. Willie Pike will be on board.

WIllie Pike is nominated to ride Nickelback at Gosford.Credit:Getty

He resumed 21 days ago at Wyong, had too much to do, and was game in defeat running second. Further, he had to be restrained early from a wide draw after jumping well and got too far back in the run.

The gelding hit the line hard, and Punter’s Intelligence recorded he ran the fastest final 400m/200m splits of the entire meeting in 22.90/11.67.

Last preparation, he improved approximately three lengths between his first and second-up run and a repeat of that effort/figure will make him hard to beat.

In addition, he receives a significant barrier change and can settle closer with the step-up in distance being ideal.

The main danger is the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Laos Fortune, who has progressed throughout his second campaign and is coming out of time/sectional merit races.

Expect a positive ride by jockey Tommy Berry to use the gelding’s fitness advantage.

One of the more intriguing races on the day is the Sharp DS Central Coast 2YO Maiden Plate (1100m), with multiple first-starters engaged.

Debutante Our Lady Stardust looks a nice type and won a recent trial in fast time/sectionals. Moreover, she is well-educated and has the natural gate speed to take a forward position.

Punters can trust a positive showing with the Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou training partnership being renowned for having their runners wound up and ready to run well on debut.

Another first starter is Change Is Coming who won a recent trial and looked to have style.

He is a key late market watch and, although he will need luck from the barrier, expect him to be fighting out the finish.

Jockey Rory Hutchings is in form, riding 19 winners out of his past 100 rides for a solid 14% profit on turnover. The hoop has one ride today in race 6.

Full form and race replays available at racingnsw.com.au.

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