Gai Waterhouse has included Spurtonic in the 2015 Carlyon Cup field and the leading Sydney trainer believes that the Group 3 event at Caulfield tomorrow is a very winnable race for the talented gelding.
Spurtonic finished fourth in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and won the Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m) during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, but he was restricted to just two race starts in 2014 before he returned to winning form with an impressive performance in the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 10.
The Flying Spur gelding was well-backed in the lead-up to the Listed Carrington Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on January 24 and finished at the tail of the field, but Waterhouse told Racing Ahead that she is confident the five-year-old can return to his best form in the Carlyon Cup as he works towards the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 14.
“He is a funny horse,” Waterhouse said.
“It was 18 months between him winning on Caulfield Cup Day and winning on Magic Millions Day.
“He has been a very consistent horse without winning and he is extremely happy.
“He is beautiful style of the horse; there wouldn’t be a bigger horse in the race and he is a great big rangy lovely chestnut.
“I think that he is pretty well suited and he is spot-on for this race.
“It is a very winnable race and it is a nice stepping stone hopefully to the Australian Cup.”
Spurtonic has generally been ridden as a front-runner during his racing career to date, but showed that he was capable of settling off the speed when he stormed home late to take out the Magic Millions Cup.
Waterhouse said that she has no firm plans on how she would like to see Vlad Duric ride Spurtonic in the Carlyon Cup and she is happy to let the talented hoop assess the speed of the race before he makes a decision where to position the Group 3 winner.
“Vlad rides a lot for me and knows where my horses like to be ridden,” Waterhouse said.
“I like to see how much speed there is in the race and if there is quite a bit of speed I am quite happy for them to take a sit and if there is no speed I like to see them up on the speed.
“I don’t have a set idea before I go to a race and I like to see hear what the jockeys think and I always play it from there.”
Spurtonic is currently available at 2015 Carlyon Cup odds of $8.50, while Gerald Ryan-trained Red Excitement ($2.30) is a clear favourite from Darren Weir-trained Akzar ($7), the in-form Jacquinot Bay ($8.50) and Turnbull Stakes runner-up Lidari ($9).