Home-town hopes rest on Bezel in rich Cup

A HOPE: David Smith with Stilettoed Vixen. Four-year-old Bezel will run in Saturday's Gooree Park Gooree Cup.
A HOPE: David Smith with Stilettoed Vixen. Four-year-old Bezel will run in Saturday's Gooree Park Gooree Cup.

He’s knocked off Winx trainer Chris Waller, but can David Smith now trump the first lady of the track too?

Smith’s promising four-year-old Bezel will bear the hopes of Mudgee when the $40,000 Gooree Park Gooree Cup jumps at the Mudgee Race Club on Saturday.

Bezel is fresh off a somewhat disappointing Score Cup campaign where the bay gelding finished 10th in a seriously classy field of 16 in last Friday’s $200,000 mile feature.

Saturday’s Gooree Cup is also run over 1600 metres but unlike the Scone Cup, Smith’s chance enters this race as one of the best in the field, albeit a starting eight that includes a Penske, a four-year-old out of the Gai Waterhouse stable.

Just eight horses accepted – Stilettoed Vixen, also from the Smith stable, and Mack Griffith’s Most Exalted aren’t in the field after nominating for the race earlier in the week - with Bezel the top weight and set to jump out of barrier two.

Smith’s four-year-old will face a stack of invaders, Waterhouse’s bay gelding looks to be the best of those having won at Wyong and a tough second at Kembla Grange in the last month.

The hugely successful combination of Bjorn Baker and Greg Ryan is in the field too, with Personable returning after a sixth in the Mudgee Cup in December.

Racing starts at 12.43pm with the $20,000 Widden Stud Australia Maiden Handicap (1100m).

The $40,000 Gooree Park Gooree Cup (1600m) jumps from 3.18pm.