Gai Waterhouse will give two year old Betrayal his chance to prove himself in top company and will head to Brisbane after winning the NMW Airr Handicap (1250m) for two year olds at Canterbury today.
Betrayal was the second leg of a winning double for Waterhouse as she continues to chase down leading trainer Chris Waller in the Sydney trainer’s premiership.
Waterhouse won the opening race at Canterbury with Battant in the 1100m Maiden and is closing in quickly on Waller after the premiership leader set a commanding break mid season.
Two weeks ago Waller held a twelve win break over Waterhouse who has dwindled that back to six with courtesy of an outstanding winning streak over the Sydney Autumn Carnival which has carried on over the past two weeks including multiple trebles and doubles.
Waterhouse has only a light representation in Brisbane for the Winter Carnival as she concentrates on the premiership but will set Betrayal for the Group 2 $250,000 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 2.
“This is a really exciting horse in the making,” Waterhouse said.
“His improvement since his debut is just enormous. It’s been huge.”
“He even might be a Sires’ Produce horse.”
The Exceed And Excel colt was only having his second race start when he lead all of the way for Tommy Berry to score an easy two length win, tempting Waterhouse to chase more wins in Queensland.
Betrayal had plenty of support in the betting ring and started at $1.65 at his first race start but could only manage a second for Nash Rawiller in a NMW two year old Handicap (1000m) on the Kensington track on Anzac day but stable supporters stuck with the two year old and sent him out the favourite again today at $1.50.
Berry was looking for improvement from Betrayal after his first up second and said his track work had pointed to him being better behaved today.
“He’s a highly-strung horse that gets quite revved-up which you would have seen at Randwick but Gai has put a bit more work under his belt and his work is outstanding,” Berry said.
Waller had his chance to even up the ledger for the day at Canterbury after a an early winner but could only manage a dead heat in the second last race when the judge was unable to separate More Rocco and Kirinata in the Benchmark 75 Handicap over 1250m.
The up and coming Berry has maintained his winning momentum with today’s double on Waterhouse’s pair to cement his spot in the top five jockeys in the Sydney premiership.
“It’s my first full year as a fully-fledged jockey and Dad (trainer Kevin Berry) said if I can finish in the top 10 I should be rapt, so if I can finish top five I would be over the moon,” Berry said.
“A lot of it has got to do with the support from Gai and from a lot of owners.”
“It would be great because there is a great bunch of jockeys here and there’s some good ones I’m in front of.”
“It shows I’m capable of being here riding in Sydney.”