Carlton House could be a surprise Epsom Handicap absentee with trainer Gai Waterhouse contemplating sending the six year old straight to Melbourne to kick off his Spring Carnival campaign.
The English import, who is raced by Her Majesty The Queen, pleased Waterhouse with a second in a 1200m Randwick barrier trial today but is admitting that she is running out of time to get him ready for the Group 1 $500,000 The Star Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick in two weeks.
“I was happy with the trial, I wanted him to have a good testing hit out,” Waterhouse told Racing Network.
“He may still run in the Epsom. He is difficult to place at this stage of the spring carnival in Sydney, we could look to running him first-up in Melbourne.”
“The Shannon Stakes will come too soon for him and we were hoping for something a little easier than the Epsom first-up,:
The Group 2 $175,000 Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill next Saturday run under Quality conditions might be a bit too soon for Carlton House and Waterhouse would be reluctant to take on a tough Group 1 Epsom Handicap first up.
Waterhouse will discuss her options with Queen’s Elizabeth’s racing manager John Warren before mapping out a final Spring Carnival program.
“I’ll have to have a chat to John Warren, Queen Elizabeth’s racing manager, and decide where we go with him,” Waterhouse said.
Carlton House has only had one run for the Waterhouse stable since arriving in Sydney and was beaten just over five lengths when thirteenth to Havana Rey in the Group 2 $175,000 Hyland Race Colours Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 30.
The Street Cry stallion is yet to win at Group 1 level but has two placings to his credit in England before being shipped to Australia.
Carlton House looked like having a bright future winning at Group 2 level at York before running third to Pour Moi in the 2011 Group 1 £1,325,000 Investec (Epsom) Derby (1 mile, 4 furlongs) at Epsom.
Carlton House also has a second on his record to the great So You Think in the 2012 Group 1 £500,000 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (1 mile 2 furlongs) at Royal Ascot.