Trainer Gai Waterhouse is confident that imported galloper Carlton House can be competitive when he returns to the races in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Carlton House joined the Waterhouse stable at the end of 2012 but has only had one race start since arriving in Australia; finishing 13th behind Havana Rey in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
The Street Cry entire impressed in three barrier trial appearances before the start of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, defeating Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente in a trial over 1400 metres at Royal Randwick on August 2, but Waterhouse was unable to get the six-year-old to the races.
Carlton House finished fourth behind Sookie in a barrier trial over 1200 metres at Royal Randwick on January 3 and performed strongly alongside Fiorente in an exhibition gallop on January 18; with Waterhouse happy with his condition ahead of his return to racing in the Expressway Stakes this weekend.
“I was talking to her racing manager this morning and I told him that we will start in something short and sharp this preparation,” Waterhouse told Sky Racing HQ.
“He will be very competitive; all of his trials have been over 1200 metres.”
Carlton House is owned by Queen Elizabeth II and Waterhouse said that Her Majesty is looking forward to seeing how one of her star gallopers performs on Saturday.
“I had the honour of speaking with Her Majesty this week and she is very excited about it,” Waterhouse said
“They are recording it and she will be up early to watch it.
“She understands it perfectly, lives it and loves it.
“It is the passion of her life I would think.”
Carlton House was prepared by legendary English trainer Sir Michael Stoute before coming to Australia and performed well at the highest level of racing.
He recorded his maiden win at Group level as a three-year-old in the 2011 Group 2 Dante Stakes (2092m) and performed well in both the Group 1 Epsom Derby (2423m) at Epsom Downs and the Group 1 Irish Derby (2414m) at Curragh.
The talented entire started his four-year-old season with a win in the Group 3 Gerard Stakes (2018m) and pushed equine superstar So You Think all the way in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (2011m) during the 2012 Royal Ascot meeting.
Waterhouse is chasing her first win in the Expressway Stakes after previously finishing in the placings with Fashions Afield (second in 2007), Grand Armee (third in 2005), Excellerator (third in 2004), Jugglar (second in 1997 and 1996), Pharaoh (third in 1995) and All Our Mob (third in 1994).