TASMANIAN Derby winner Ollie's Gold was yesterday a surprise acceptance for the $225,000 Launceston Cup on Wednesday.
His Brighton trainer Gary White said Ollie's Gold had taken no harm from his Derby win at Elwick on February 3 and had trained on well.
``I know that not many three-year-olds tackle the Launceston Cup but I was encouraged by how his brother went in the race last year,'' he said.
Colonial Gold gave a brave showing before finishing sixth behind Prevailing, and White has no doubt that Ollie's Gold shades him in ability.
``I thought that if the Launceston Cup fell away and Ollie's Gold was allowed to bowl along, then you never know,'' he said.
``No matter what, he's going for a nice long spell after Wednesday and I think he'll be a better horse for running in the Launceston Cup,'' he said.
White is chasing his fourth win in the Launceston Cup after winning previously with Scruples in 1985 and then back-to-back wins with crowd favourite Free Beer in 1995-96.
Ollie's Gold was ridden in the Tasmanian Derby by Jason Maskiell but he is committed to Longford stayer The Cleaner, and instead the ride has gone to Dwayne Dunn.
``I know Jason can't ride the horse but he's helped make him as he's still a big kid.''
Ollie's Gold was quoted at $31 when TattsBet issued its first fixed odds market on the race yesterday.
Hurdy Gurdy Man is favourite at $2.40 to complete the Hobart-Launceston Cup double, and The Cleaner is on the second line of betting at $4.60.
Top jockey Craig Newitt has switched from Dream Pedlar to Victorian-trained mare Lucky Angel as he tries to win the Launceston Cup for a second time.
The ride on Dream Pedlar was quickly picked up by Brendon McCoull who will be on the eight-year-old for the first time since 2008.
Anthony Darmanin will get the chance to win his second Launceston Cup in a row after he was engaged for promising mare Unoaked.
Unoaked has risen through the classes in the past two months accepting each rise in distance and quality with apparent ease.
Former top apprentice Daniel Ganderton will return from Western Australia to ride Catwen Boy for his uncle, Mark Ganderton.
Ganderton has ridden three winners since moving to Perth at Christmas, and will be in action at today's Ascot meeting.
Catwen Boy is one of two runners for his Latrobe-based trainer and is other representative is Richoman who will be ridden by Adelaide jockey Clare Lindop.
Lindop enjoyed a successful start to the Launceston Cup carnival by winning the $100,000 Vamos Stakes last Wednesday.
Lindop became only the second woman to have ridden a Launceston Cup winner when she was aboard Dakasha in 2005 following Bev Buckingham on Brave Trespasser in 1987.
On Wednesday, she will be joined by in-form apprentice Sigrid Carr who has been engaged for bottom weight Neil's Gold.