Gai Waterhouse isn’t trying to hide her excitement ahead of the spring carnivals with a stable full of horses she rates very highly to deliver her big stakes success.
She has a heap of horses returning over the next couple of weeks with contingents both in Sydney as well as down in Melbourne.
One of the horses first up this weekend is Herculian Prince, a former Group 1 champion which will run at Caulfield in the Memsie Stakes.
It’s a hot field with plenty of other top liners in the mix and on form he probably seems well and truly outclassed.
That being said though Waterhouse knows what the horse can do at his best and she’s confident a few months off might have reinvigorated the gelding.
“He’s a horse that could be quite effective in these big races, he lost form in the autumn but before that he won The Metropolitan in devastating fashion,” she said.
That was The Metropolitan of 2010, a campaign which also included a victory in the Kingston Town Classic and a third placing in the Tramway Stakes.
While his autumn failures will certainly be concerning, Waterhouse says there’s no reason to panic just yet.
“Sometimes these horses (New Zealand imports) can have a flat patch after being quite brilliant,” she said.
“He’s such a quirky horse to have anything to do with, one of our senior riders has really got on well with him and managed to turn him around.”
That being said she’s not prepared to talk him up too much before this weekend saying she simply doesn’t really known how well he’s travelling.
“I’m hoping that he’ll run very well, he’s hard to get a line on, he’s so relaxed in his work at the moment which is unlike him,” she said.
Ina addition to Herculian Prince Waterhouse also has a couple of others of note to keep an eye out for over the next couple of weeks.
Descarado is the big one but don’t expect to see him defending his Caulfield Cup title this year.
“I think he’s very much a Cox Plate horse,” she said.
“We’d be rushing him if we pushed him to the Caulfield Cup.”
His first up run will be at Moonee Valley in a couple of weeks where he’ll run in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes.
Some others of note include Brisbane Cup winner Tullamore who’ll start in the Tramway stakes and Once Were Wild who’s a fortnight away of the Makybe Diva Stakes.
Waterhouse also said she’s not happy with the progress of Shared Reflections and her comeback may be delayed by a couple of weeks, she won’t start in the Furious Stakes as nominated.