Gai Waterhouse is delighted with Wandjina heading into the 2015 Australian Guineas and believes that the talented colt will take a stack of beating in the Group 1 event at Flemington tomorrow.
Wandjina lived up to his potential when he stormed home late to finish third behind Shooting To Win and Rich Enuff in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and finished a credible tenth in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and he started his autumn campaign with a tough win in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 21.
Waterhouse told Racing Ahead that Wandjina has progressed well from his strong first-up victory and he is confident that the son of Snitzel can record a maiden win at Group 1 level in the 2015 Australian Guineas.
“He has done a treat,” Waterhouse said.
“He is well and truly ready.
“It was a brilliant win in the CS Hayes two weeks ago and he has done very well.
“He is a very athletic colt, a very handsome good-looking horse and he will take a stack of beating.”
Damien Oliver was originally booked to partner Wandjina in the 2015 Australian Guineas, but the leading hoop received back-to-back suspensions for careless riding and Hong Kong-based Brett Prebble was booked to take the ride.
Waterhouse said that she was happy to have an experienced Group 1 jockey on Wandjina in the Australian Guineas and she feels that Prebble can choose to lead or take a sit on Wandjina depending on the early speed in the Group 1 event tomorrow.
“With Damien being out we called upon the services of Brett Prebble,” Waterhouse said.
“He is a great jockey, a great Group 1 jockey and I think that he will suit the colt well.
“You need a rider that knows the track well, a strong rider and a Group 1 winning jockey and he ticks all those boxes.
“I haven’t looked at it closely, but he can do either.
“He has come from the back of the field and run very good races and he has led like he did the other day in what I thought was his best effort ever.
“He found that wonderful second gear coming up the straight there.”
Wandjina has been backed into 2015 Australian Guineas odds of $7.50 after opening at $9.50 earlier in the week and is now on the third line of betting behind Kermadec ($3.40) and Alpine Eagle ($6).