Ecuador is genuine Group 1 contender

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Even though promising stayer Ecuador is lining up in restricted class at Rosehill tomorrow trainer Gai Waterhouse and jockey Tommy Berry believe the four year old is a genuine Group 1 contender.

Promising stayer Ecuador looking to get into The Metropolitan at Randwick.

Promising stayer Ecuador looking to get into The Metropolitan at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

If Ecuador happened to win the 1900m Benchmark 80 Handicap tomorrow with 60kg, he would still need a lot of luck to force his way into the Group 1 $400,000 McGrath Estate Agents The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick next week.

But even if he doesn’t get his chance to race in Group 1 company soon, Berry still rates him on par with last year’s Metropolitan winner Glencadam Gold.

“He’s a lovely horse, he’s a Metrop horse I believe so he would want to be carrying the weight to win,” Berry told the Sportsman.

“Obviously Glencadam Gold contested a couple of harder races going into it, like the Newcastle Cup, but this bloke feels just as good.”

“He’s a typical Gai Waterhouse stayer, he never gives up and I will be interested to see how far he can go.”

Ecuador has won at his last two start leading all of the way and jumped up from a midweek Canterbury win to score a three lengths victory in a Benchmark 75 Handicap at Rosehill over 1800m two weeks ago.

“He hasn’t gone backwards that’s for sure,” Berry said.

“He has a perfect barrier and he should get a nice run in the race.”

The High Chaparral four year old has been marked a $1.40 favourite and should have no trouble leading this field from barrier two and looks set to repeat his win a fortnight ago.

While Ecuador is well down the order of entry for the Metropolitan at number seventy-three, he is well up in the market order and is on the fourth line of betting at $8 behind the Chris Waller trained  Moriarty at $4.60, Prince Cheri at $5 and Glencadam Gold at $7.

Waterhouse was very upbeat after Ecuador’s latest win at Rosehill and hasn’t ruled out trying to qualify him for the Group 1 $2.65m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 19.

“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.”

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.


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