Hampton Court has failed to fire in three race starts this preparation, but trainer Gai Waterhouse is confident that the talented entire will produce a much improved effort when he contests the 2015 The BMW at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow.
Hampton Court made a slow start to his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, but he returned to winning form in the Listed Dulcify Quality (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 4 before he upset First Seal and Sweynesse to win the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at the same venue a week later.
The Redoute’s Choice colt was sent to the spelling paddock after he was beaten as favourite in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) and he has produced flat performances in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 21, the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 14 and the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at the same venue last weekend.
Waterhouse admits that Hampton Court has taken a while to reach peak fitness this preparation, but she is very confident that the three-year-old can perform well when he takes on the older horses in the 2015 The BMW.
“You couldn’t make anything of his form so far this campaign because he is a blob, but he is a talented blob,” Waterhouse said.
“He is a magnificent son of Redoute’s Choice and I have sharpened his work up.
“It is a three week back-up, which is a bit unheard of overseas with the colts, but I think he needed it.
“Last week I said that if we could back this horse up again we would find that he could hit his form and I would be surprised if he doesn’t run a very big race.”
Josh Parr has ridden Hampton Court in all three of his race starts this preparation, but Tommy Berry has been booked to reunite with the colt for the first time since he finished fourth behind Sweynesse in the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1600m) at Newcastle in September of last year.
Waterhouse said that she was happy to have Berry back on Hampton Court in The BMW, but she indicated that Parr could be given the chance to ride the Group 1 winner again during his autumn preparation.
“I always say to owners ‘don’t marry yourself to jockeys’,” Waterhouse said.
“My stable has a large group of jockeys riding and I always say to the jockeys ‘what you miss out on this Saturday, you can make up on the next’ and they could miss out on a ride on one thing and they are back on it only two weeks later.
“It all comes around to all of them.”
Hampton Court is currently available at 2015 The BMW odds of $67 with Ladbrokes, while To The World ($2.25) is now a clear favourite from Hartnell ($3.40), Protectionist ($9) and Lucia Valentina ($9).