Waltzing To Win will drop back to 2200 metres for the 2014 Ballarat Cup after running over two miles in the Sandown Cup last weekend, but trainer David Huxtable does not believe that the step-down in trip will be an issue for the tough mare.
Waltzing To Win started her 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign at Balaklava back in September and she had her first race start in Australia with a solid fourth in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington on October 4 and was far from disgraced when eighth in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 11.
The Benicio mare was never able to recover after missing the start in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) on October 22, but returned to winning form in the Midori Handicap (2050m) at Strathalbyn on October 29 before finishing fourth in both the Visit Victoria Plate (2800m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day and the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) last weekend.
Huxtable told RSN this morning that he could not have Waltzing To Win any fitter heading into the 2014 Ballarat Cup and he is confident that the five-year-old has the versatility handle to the 1000 metres drop in distance.
“She pulled up well,” Huxtable said.
“She is really fit, so those races don’t even touch her and she pulls up as if it is a track gallop.
“I don’t worry too much about those sorts of things (the drop back in trip) and I am looking at the better profile.
“The horse is as good as she can be, as good as I can get her and really it is how good she is on the day.
“If she can begin well then she will be right in it.”
Huxtable’s stables are based at Kangaroo Island, approximately 100 kilometers south of Adelaide, and like popular Tasmanian gelding The Cleaner Huxtable’s horses are forced to travel by ferry when they head to the races in Adelaide or Victoria.
Waltzing To Win now has plenty of experience making the trip to Victoria and Huxtable said that the mare had started to relish her trips interstate, but can still become spooked when the ferry engines start up.
“When we take her across on the ferry she still does get a bit stirred up because of the roar of the ferry and the docking of the engines,” Huxtable said.
“That is the worst part of it, but the travelling from Adelaide to Melbourne she has really settled into and she is good now.
“I don’t really consider it to be a risk and I think that it actually improves the horse.
“There is nothing worse than worrying about how it is going to travel and the more you do it, the more you expose them to the stresses and the more they adapt.”
Waltzing To Win is currently available at 2014 Ballarat Cups odds of $21, while Spinderbella ($5.50) remains a narrow favourite from Tuscan Fire ($6.50).