Trainer Gai Waterhouse is confident that Almalad can return to his best form when he contests the 2014 Golden Rose Stakes at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow.
Almalad won three races from as many starts as a two-year-old, including a tough victory in the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 7, but beat home just a single runner when he returned to racing in the Group 3 Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 30.
Waterhouse blamed the poor performance of Almalad on the wet Rosehill Gardens track and she told Racing Ahead that she has not lost her faith in the son of Al Maher heading into the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) this weekend.
“I think that he will run a lot better now that it is a better track,” Waterhouse said.
“We have had a couple of warm days, yesterday was 27 degrees or something, and that will make a big difference to the Rosehill track.
“This is a quality horse, where are the other Group 1 winners in the race?
“Never overlook a Group 1 horse, he will bounce right back.
“He looks too good and this distance will suit him a lot better.
“I have never lost confidence in him.”
Almalad has been included in the nominations for all the major races for three-year-olds during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and Waterhouse confirmed that the gelding will head to Melbourne after running in the Golden Rose.
Waterhouse said that the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 11 and the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) are the major Melbourne goals for Almalad and she will wait until she sees how he comes through the Golden Rose before she decides on the exact path for the three-year-old.
“I am not going to run him that much and except for the races that I want to do to I haven’t really filled in the gaps,” Waterhouse said.
“I want him to go to the Caulfield Guineas and I want him to go to the Cox Plate – they are the two races that I want him to contest.
“In between hand I am just going to see how he is traveling and how he is coping with the races.
“If he needs to go somewhere else I will send him.”
Almalad is currently available at Golden Rose odds of $9 to give Waterhouse her first win in the Group 1 event after finishing second with Squamosa in 2010 and third with Bull Point in 2013 and Kingda Ka in 2008.