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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

It’s a race for seasoned oldstagers. That’s the final event, the 2130m Team Bond Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, with reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green giving Machs Gold a sound chance of winning and ending a losing sequence of 14, which includes unplaced efforts at his past 11 starts.

Machs Gold, trained at Byford by Karen Thompson, has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier in the field of nine which has amassed a combined total of 1122 starts for 114 wins.

Machs Gold has begun from the No. 1 barrier eight times in his 92-start career with mixed fortune.

The most recent occasion he started from the No. 1 barrier was four starts ago when he galloped soon after the start, raced at the rear and finished last behind Will I Rocknroll on June 10 this year. He has led and won twice from the No. 1 barrier, at Ballarat in March 2020 and at Gloucester Park in January this year when he beat Regal Scribe. He has also finished second twice (behind Taroona Bromac and Vespa) after starting the barrier one.

“This is an ideal draw, and he is looking to return to form,” said Egerton-Green. “He has been racing without luck, and his recent work has been a lot better. So, I think he is a good chance.”

Machs Gold’s toughest opponent appears to be Naval Aviator, who will start from the No. 2 barrier and will be driven by his trainer Corey Peterson at his second appearance after a brief let-up.

Naval Aviator was an odds-on favourite last Friday night when he started from barrier one and set the pace before fading to finish sixth behind Louie the Lip. He ruined his chances by racing fiercely. If Peterson can get him to race more tractably, he is sure to prove hard to beat.

Egerton-Green is also looking for a strong first-up showing from Maungatahi, who will start from the No. 1 barrier in the 2536m Summit Bloodstock Pace for three-year-olds.

“It is a handy field, but Maungatahi has raced these horses before and has done well,” said Egerton-Green. “He is working well and should run a pretty good, honest race, like he usually does. So, I can’t see whey he won’t do it again.”

Maungatahi won twice as a two-year-old and he has been placed at three of his five starts as a three-year-old. He has had a spell since he started from barrier one and led early in the group 3 Caduceus Club Classic on March 11 before took the sit behind the speedy The Miki Taker and fought on gamely when third behind Swingband and The Miki Taker.

The speedy Speedwagon, Linebacker and back-line runners Goodffellaz and Noted appear to be Maungatahi’s main rivals.