Ever confident trainer Gai Waterhouse has rated her Melbourne Cup hope Excess Knowledge a great each way chance when he kicks off his Spring Carnival campaign in the Group 2 $200,000 Back To Caulfield P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The English import started to realise his potential during the 2015 Sydney Autumn Carnival with a win in the $70,000 A.J. ‘Bert’ Lillye Memorial Handicap (1300m) at Kembla Grange followed by a win in the Group 3 $150,000 Hyland Race Colours Doncaster Prelude (1500m) at Rosehill on March 28.
Waterhouse has continues to talk up the Spring prospects of Excess Knowledge who has performed well in two 1200m Randwick barrier trial appearances with a win on July 20 followed by a second on July 31.
“He’s a great each-way chance … I think he is definitely a horse the punters should be following through the spring,” Waterhouse told the Herald Sun.
Big race jockey Kerrin McEvoy rode Excess Knowledge in his latest barrier trial and will be aboard again in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes on the weekend and agrees with Waterhouse that he will finish in the prizemoney.
“I’d be disappointed if he didn’t finish in the first three, put it that way,” McEvoy said.
“I’ve got a nice opinion of this horse. I was more than happy to come down to give him a chance to see where he can take us in the spring.
“If he stays, there’s every possible chance he’s going to measure up to better races.”
At this stage of his career Waterhouse is comparing Excess Knowledge with her best performed European import Fiorente who went on to win the 2013 Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.
Waterhouse also prepared Fiorente to win the Group 1 $1m Darley Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington the following Autumn.
“Fiorente is a very special horse. In his first start in Australia he ran second in the Melbourne Cup, the next year he won it,” Waterhouse said.
“This horse is still going through his classes to get to that. But they are very similar personalities. He’s got a look about of Fiorente, a similar attitude — no mucking about, just get on with the job — and he’s got a wonderful galloping action like Fiorente.”
If Excess Knowledge performs up to expectations in the weight for age P.B. Lawrence Stakes on Saturday, no doubt Waterhouse will be mapping out a program for the Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday in November.
Excess Knowledge is on the third line of betting for the P.B. Lawrence at $4.60 with Ladbrokes.com.au while in early Melbourne Cup betting the Monsun stallion is rated a $41 chance.
P.B. Lawrence Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 Smokin’ Joey, $4.20 Dibayani, $4.60 Excess Knowledge, $6 Mourinho, $7.50 Petrology, $11 The Cleaner, $26 Big Memory, $41 Taiyoo, $51 No Tricks.