After having to settle for second prize in both the Group 2 Bendigo and Cranbourne Cups late in 2021, Graeme Jose is hoping an interstate expedition will be the catalyst for a change of fortune for Lots Of Chatter and Aston Shine.
Lots Of Chatter, second in the Bendigo Cup, and Aston Shine, runner-up to Melbourne Cup hero Koblenz at Cranbourne, will contest Tuesday night’s G2 Gosford Cup heats (515m) for Catani-based Jose.
“They’ve been racing against the topliners down here and I’ve had some pretty good luck at Gosford before,” said Jose, who prepared 2018 Gosford Cup finalist One Required.
“If they get any luck, they’re going to be right in the firing line.”
Veteran speedster Lots Of Chatter, winner of 32 of his 90 starts, is the more fancied of the kennelmates in TAB betting, at $3.60 from Box 1 in the second of four heats, Race 6 at 8.57pm.
Aston Shine, which has won 14 from 57, is a surprisingly generous $13 outsider from Box 3 in the opening heat, Race 5 at 8.37pm.
Both have raced at Gosford previously, while it’s Lots Of Chatter’s second tilt at the Cup after the son of Fernando Bale and Alotta Luck finished unplaced in a heat last year.
“I’m rapt I’ve got Box 1 with Lots Of Chatter; it brings him right into the race,” said Jose.
“The dog is flying. He ran 25.04sec at Ballarat at his last start. I really believe that as he’s got older, he’s got faster.
WATCH: G2 Bendigo and Cranbourne Cup finalist Lots Of Chatter (8) was a dominant last start winner over 450m at Ballarat en route to Tuesday night’s G2 Gosford Cup heats.
“When I brought him up for last year’s Gosford Cup, because of COVID I had to leave him up there and he just doesn’t handle being in different surroundings or with different people, which was unfortunate.
“I just want to win one (Group race) with him, whether it’s Gosford or Mount Gambier, and if he can qualify I think this is the best chance he’s had.”
While Lots Of Chatter is much shorter in heat betting, Jose is also very bullish about Aston Shine’s prospects.
Aston Shine, a well-bred son of Fernando Bale and Fantastic Dotty, is dropping back in distance after having his last three starts over 650m at Sale, most recently running fourth in the Distance Championship, as Jose contemplated a crack at the G1 Sale Cup.
“The idea was that he’s been getting to the line hard over ‘500’ and the Sale Cup was coming up,” Jose explained.
“He ran down Lala Kiwi to run second in the Cranbourne Cup!
“His sectionals were just phenomenal in the Distance Championship final at Sale. Very low 6s and breaking 16 down the back, those are Mantra Lad sectionals and we know how good he was.
“He led for a long way but wasn’t quite running it out, so I decided to drop him back for Gosford.
“When he raced at Gosford previously it was pouring rain and he doesn’t like getting his toes wet! He’s a bit of a sook but one-on-one he would beat Lots Of Chatter nearly every time.
“His pace gives him a massive chance of getting to the fence and if he does he’s going to be very hard to run down. I think he’s a great each-way chance.”
The Gosford Cup final will be held next Tuesday, January 4.
Gosford Cup contender Aston Shine winning his G2 Cranbourne Cup heat on October 22.