Trainer Gai Waterhouse is confident that the reapplication of blinkers will help classy gelding Equator breakthrough for his first victory this spring in the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Equator showed plenty of promise as a juvenile, recording two impressive wins before finishing third behind Guelph and Fuerza in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m), but has not been able to return to the winners circle this preparation.
The son of Northern Meteor started his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a ninth place finish in the Group 3 The Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens before finishing a promising third when stepped up to a mile in the Listed Dulcify Quality (1600m) at Royal Randwick.
He tired in the final stages when sixth in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on October 12 and made his Melbourne racing debut with a much-improved third behind Paximadia and Hucklebuck in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m).
Waterhouse told Sky Racing HQ that she was happy with the effort of Equator in the Carbine Club Stakes but is hoping that the addition of blinkers will give the three-year-old the best possible chance to turn-the-tables on Paximadia in the Sandown Guineas this weekend.
“I thought Equator ran a good race the other day but I didn’t think that he was quiet focused so I put him in blinkers and I think that might make a difference,” Waterhouse said.
“Backing him up will do him the world of good.”
Waterhouse also has impressive mare Queenstown racing at Caulfield tomorrow; with the four-year-old set to make her weight-for-age debut in the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m).
Queenstown was caught on the line by Team Hawkes-trained Girl Gone Rockin’ in the Group 2 Momentum Energy Stakes (2000m) at Flemington last Saturday and Waterhouse is expecting the Stratum mare to play a part in the finish at Caulfield tomorrow.
“Queenstown was beat a nostril; I mean it was literally a bob of the head,” Waterhouse said.
“She is probably second favourite in the race and will give it a good shake.
“Both those horses from Star Thoroughbreds will run well.”