Johnson Holds Gold Collar Aces

LEITH-based trainers Gary and Robyn Johnson look set to play a strong hand in Monday night’s Simons Carpet One Gold Collar Final (515m) at Launceston.

Brennan Ryan

11 November 2018

LEITH-based trainers Gary and Robyn Johnson look set to play a strong hand in Monday night’s Simons Carpet One Gold Collar Final (515m) at Launceston.

In one of the most even line-ups in the Gold Collar’s 80-year history, the Johnsons will have six runners, including five by their home-bred sire Buckle Up Wes.

The Gary Johnson-trained Buckle Up Axon looks the hardest to beat after chasing top sprinter Peco Can in the Puppy Championship at Devonport, before running into Stop Line at his last outing and finishing a distant fourth.

“Buckle Up Axon (box 3) would be our best chance,” owner Robyn Johnson said.

“His last four starts have been very impressive, but he will need luck at the start to be right in the mix.”

Whelped in January 2017, Buckle Up Axon, a son of Buckle Up Wes and America Bale, will go into the race with great experience, having won over the sprint journey in a sizzling 29.87.

Buckle Up Axon has won six of 14 career starts with four minor placings.

The Johnson camp is yet to win a Gold Collar, coming closest when Buckle Up Gaye finished third to Butch Deverell’s Jethro in the 2011 decider.

Trainer Michael Sutcliffe has the other two runners in the final, Stylish Hugh and Stylish Macbeth.

Robyn Johnson rates Buckle Up Axon, Buckle Up Kiona and Buckle Up Azona as her best chances.

The Gold Collar Final is race six on Monday’s program, set to jump at 9.29pm.

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