Worsnop and Tough James hoping to kick new season off in style at Gundagai

Teighan Worsnop and the Garry Worsnop-trained Tough James, pictured here winning at Tumut back on February 12, will be in action at Gundagai on Monday.

Grandfather and granddaughter combination Garry and Teighan Worsnop will look to combine for more success at Gundagai Adelong Race Club on Monday, with Tough James set to contest the 1180m Benchmark 58 Handicap. 

Trained by Garry, the five-year-old won on this program last year, with Teighan giving the Al Maher gelding a terrific ride when taking out the 1000m Class One Handicap after being backed in from $21 to $9.50. 

“He likes Gundagai. He won his first race there and he has won there for Teighan,” Garry Worsnop said. 

“Teighan rides Gundagai really well, so we are looking forward to seeing how they go.” 

Tough James went on a terrific winning run for connections earlier this year, taking out three races on the trot at Tumut, Albury, and Corowa, and following a 15-week spell, he returns at Gundagai first-up. 

Despite the spell, Worsnop said he has been able to work his sprinter south of the border, and that Tough James would be ready to put in a good effort at Gundagai. 

“I have been pretty lucky. Wangaratta Turf Club has been letting me go down there and gallop him on the synthetic,” Worsnop said. 

“He also had a gallop over at Corowa after the last race on Monday and while he won’t be fully wound up, I’m expecting him to run a bold race.” 

Tough James has been punished for his good form last preparation, being allocated 62kg for Monday’s race, but with Teighan and her three-kilogram claim on board, he will only carry 59kg.

“Teighan will pull three (kilos) off him. I see he got 62kg, but he will only have to carry the 59kg with the claim,” Worsnop said. 

Gate 11 won’t help Tough James, with Worsnop praying for an inside gate prior to the barrier draw. 

“If he draws inside, he will be up in the first three or four and if he goes to the lead, he will take some running down

“It will be harder out wider, but Teighan always gets the best out of him. She knows how to ride him, and she rides him well, especially if they are up front.”

It’s shaping up to be a heavy track at Gundagai on Monday, and the Albury galloper has won on a heavy surface before, although his trainer conceded that he preferred to be on top of the ground. 

“He is better on a (good) three, to a (soft) five or something like that,” Worsnop said. 

“Between that three and five, that is when he goes his best, but he has won on a heavy, and he will run a good race, but I have always found that he is a bit better on top of the ground.”

The 2022/23 Australian thoroughbred racing season will kick-off on Monday, and Gundagai Adelong Race Club, along with Port Macquarie Race Club, will host the first two meetings of the new NSW season.

Gundagai Adelong Race Club president Mick Crowe said Monday’s meeting marked an exciting time for the club, with the new season leading into their TAB meeting on September 5, ahead of the always-popular Snake Gully Cup carnival on November 11/12. 

“For us, it really is a good time of the year, and it leads into some consistent racing over the next few months, culminating with what should be another really good Snake Gully Cup carnival,” Crowe said. 

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