Champion trainer Gai Waterhouse is looking to impact this upcoming Spring Carnival with co-trainer Adrian Bott after coming off their best season together since their partnership commenced in 2016.
In the 2022/23 season, they trained 160 winners, including four Group 1s. They won an incredible 37 two-year-old races headlined by the Gimcrack Stakes and the Blue Diamond Preview.
“I think there were a number of highlights. The number of two-year-olds winning and the consistency in the stable was the most satisfying part,” Waterhouse said.
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“The remarkable rise back to fame of Alligator Blood was absolutely joyous, and the acquisition of Hawaii Five Oh, who went from placing in a class 1 at the provincials prior to joining us, to winning multiple Group races and placing in the $3mil. Stradbroke Handicap all in his first preparation with us. It was nothing short of miraculous.”
Waterhouse is set to unleash a formidable lineup of runners this Spring with a strong hand across the Melbourne and Sydney Carnivals.
Heading on a Cox Plate path is Alligator Blood, who is coming off a season to remember, winning three Group 1s in Melbourne.
Gai Waterhouse is looking to make a big impact in the upcoming Spring Carnival. Credit: Getty Images
“It’ll be a similar campaign to last Spring, where he headed to the Cox Plate. He’ll kick off in the Memsie on September 2,” she said.
“He’s banging his chest and roaring like a giant alligator.
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Meanwhile, untapped stayers White Marlin and Goldman arrived in Melbourne this week before their campaign towards the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
“White Marlin was very impressive, showing enormous speed in his Randwick trial on Tuesday. He’ll kick off his campaign at Caulfield in the Listed Heatherlie Handicap on September 2,” Waterhouse said.
“Goldman is probably the most exciting stayer in Australia. He’s come from rags to riches, from New Zealand as a skinny little lad, and has just taken Australian staying races by storm.
“He’s a dream come true, a very exciting horse who is already qualified for the Melbourne Cup.”
Waterhouse keeping a close eye on her horses at Moonee Valley. Credit: Racing Photos via Getty Images
Whilst the Hall of Fame trainer won’t have any fresh imports in the Caulfield or Melbourne Cup this year, there is an intriguing runner on the horizon who may fly into Sydney for the $10 million Golden Eagle.
“We’ve got one coming for the Golden Eagle, a very nice horse called New Endeavour,” she said.
“He ran 2nd at Royal Ascot in the Britannia Stakes for the owners, and 3rd at Newmarket’s July meeting in the Listed Sir Henry Cecil Stakes. He’s down to run this weekend at Newbury in the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes.
New Endeavour was purchased by stable owners at the Goffs’ London Sale ahead of Royal Ascot for £260,000. While aimed at the Golden Eagle, he also holds a nomination for the Cox Plate in Melbourne.
Another fascinating former international galloper in the stable is Alcohol Free, who stepped out in the autumn as a favourite in the Group 1 Queen of the Turf. At this stage she will resume in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes on September 30.
“She is our leading contender for The Everest, and she’s very exciting and just a magnificent mare. She took a little time to adjust, which is not unusual for these European horses.
“She’ll head towards The Everest, but depending on her first few runs, she may head to a mile race at Flemington or even a Cox Plate.
Alcohol Free is Waterhouse’s leading contender for The Everest. Credit: Getty Images
Also targeting The Everest is three-year-old Red Resistance who fits into the mould of past Everest winners in Yes Yes Yes and Giga Kick.
Looking ahead to Saturday, Tulloch Lodge is represented by their last-start ATC Derby winner Major Beel in the Group 1 Winx Stakes who has a Cups campaign on the horizon.
“He’s prepped up unbelievably well and will target races like the Caulfield Cup deeper into his preparation.”
Meanwhile, the stable has a stranglehold on the Group 2 Silver Shadow with five quality fillies to step out for the first race of the Princess Series, which culminates in the Group 1 Flight Stakes over 1600 metres on September 30.
“It reflects on how good the stable is performing. We’ve got nearly half the field!”
“The filly that’s in form at present, who I like hugely, is Taormina. I have so much time for her. The $2mil. Magic Millions 2-Year-Old Classic placegetter, Summer Loving is the other one with a run under her belt. The others are first up but Platinum Jubilee and Autumn Ballet have Group 3 wins next to their names. Then there’s the unexposed Amazonian Lass. She’ll come into her own over a mile so don’t let her slip out of the black book. All five have really strong chances.”
The Hall of Fame trainer put forward some names for the punters to watch as we approach the early two-year-old features.
“The Zoustar filly out of Fox Swift is a nice Gimcrack Stakes filly, and Dawn Service, the Justify colt out of Sunlight, is one to watch for the Breeders’ Plate.”
“You’d also have to mention the I Am Invincible colt out of English called Eton.”