Gai Waterhouse has labeled progressive gelding Ecuador a chance for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) but jockey Tommy Berry has admitted that he is not sure whether the son of High Chaparral would stay the 2400m trip of the $2.5 million handicap event.
Ecuador recorded an ultra-impressive three lengths victory in the McGrath Estate Agents Handicap (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday and after the race the excitable Waterhouse revealed that she believed the sky was the limit for the exciting four-year-old.
“He could be an Epsom horse, he could be a Caulfield Cup horse, he’s still in the Cox Plate,” Waterhouse said.
“I’ve got to work out how to qualify him for these big races but it’s a pleasant problem to have.”
Berry was brimming in praise for Ecuador on the Racing Ahead radio program yesterday and said that he believes the exciting gelding still has plenty of improvement in front of him but isn’t convinced that he will be at his best over longer stayer trips.
“Every time Gai raises the bar or distance he seems to do it quite comfortably and Saturday was no exception,” Berry said on RSN.
“He got over the distance well and still looked very raw in what he was doing.
“Everything he does looks and feels like he is doing it quiet easy and to run just outside the track record is an amazing effort.
“I think it is only the start for him – twelve months down the track he is going to be a super nice horse.
“He feels like he will run all day but some horses can feel like that than when you put them up to a distance they don’t get over it, especially a horse like him that is so brilliant.”
While the Epsom Handicap (1600m) or the Cox Plate (2040m) may be more appropriate options for Ecuador, he is currently an outside chance to qualify for any of the major Group 1 events during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
He is currently 76th on the order of entry for the Epsom Handicap (1600m), after being allocated a handicap of 52kg yesterday, is number 78 for the Caulfield Cup and very unlikely to qualify for a run in the Cox Plate.