The Gai Waterhouse trained Carlton House continued his build to the 2014 Cox Plate during the Melbourne Spring Carnival with a strong gallop on the Kensington track at Randwick last Saturday.
Carlton House still has a long way to go before peaking for the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 but stable representative Mark Newnham is happy with the rising seven year old’s fitness level at this stage of his Spring preparation.
“He is still getting fit and will need another strong gallop and a trial,” Newnham told AAP.
“The aim is the Cox Plate but we are not sure yet when he will resume.”
The English import with Tommy Berry aboard worked strongly from the 1200m and clocked 37.7 seconds for the final 600m out wide the rain affected Kensington track.
“He stretched out nicely,” Berry said
Waterhouse is keeping her options open when Carlton House, who is raced by Her Majesty The Queen, will resume for a Spring Carnival weight for age program.
Carlton House has been installed the early $9 favourite for the 2014 Cox Plate with Ladbrokes.com.au after showing vast improvement during the in Sydney Autumn Carnival with two Group 1 placings.
The former English galloper made an unceremonious debut for the Waterhouse stable when thirteenth of eighteen as favourite during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Carnival in the Group 2 $175,000 Hyland Race Colours Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill.
Carlton House missed the Spring Carnival and returned to the racetrack in the 2014 Autumn when he showed that he was up to Group 1 company with a nose second to Silent Achiever after setting the pace in the $500,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 22.
The Street Cry stallion then adopted the same tactics before finishing third to It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 19, the second day of ‘The Championships.’
While Carlton House has yet to register a win on Australian soil, he has three wins to his credit in England when prepared by legendary Newmarket trainer Sir Michael Stoute.
In other early Cox Plate markets, the Chris Waller trained Sacred Falls and top Kiwi mare Silent Achiever share the second line of betting at $11 with Royal Descent at $13 ahead of Carlton House’s stable mate Almalad, 2013 Cox Plate runner up Happy Trails and the Bart and James Cummings trained Norzita all sharing the $15 mark.