19 JUL 22 | NZ Racing Desk

Stephen Autridge looks to be in for an exciting season with rising three-year-old Alabama Gold after his win over 800m at the Cambridge trials on Tuesday.


The son of Turn Me Loose had a pleasing juvenile season, winning the Gr.3 Matamata Slipper (1200m) in February, and Autridge is hoping to add to his stakes tally this coming season.


Alabama Gold has made a pleasing return ahead of his three-year-old season and Autridge could not have been more pleased with his trial.


“I am absolutely rapt,” Autridge said. “He was just there for an outing and the number one thing was to teach him to race in behind.


“He jumped in front and eased in behind, relaxed nicely and came out and sprinted, which was really good.”


Alabama Gold’s first major test of the new season is set to be the Gr.3 Cambridge Stud Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Ruakaka on August 20 before he heads south to Hastings for more three-year-old features.


“He has got to go to Ruakaka now for his next two starts, but he is a pretty genuine type of horse and handles it pretty well,” Autridge said.


“He will have one lead-up at Ruakaka into the Northland Breeders’ Stakes.


“He will then go to Hawke’s Bay for the Colin Meads (Listed, 1200m) and hopefully the Guineas (Gr.2, 1400m).”


Alabama Gold will be the flagbearer for Autridge’s new operation, having formerly been the private trainer for Valachi Downs’ Kevin and Jo Hickman, alongside Kris Shailer.