Gai Waterhouse stable foremen Mark Newnham is hopeful that a drying Royal Randwick track can help Liberty’s Choice return to his best form when he contests the 2015 Missile Stakes tomorrow.
Liberty’s Choice has promised plenty since he finished a close fifth behind Complacent and Criterion in the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m), but he has been slightly disappointing in his past three campaigns and he was beaten by Rugged Cross when he returned to the races in the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on July 18.
The Redoute’s Choice gelding will face a much tough field in the 2015 Missile Stakes this weekend, but Newnham believes that the five-year-old may be able to return to his best form when he gets his chance at Royal Randwick tomorrow.
“He had good form this time last year,” Newnham told AAP.
“He beat Preferment and ran second to Hampton Court so hopefully he can do better if he gets a better track.”
There was a great deal expected of Liberty’s Choice heading into the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and he performed well without winning in the Listed Canberra Guineas (1400m) and Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) before his losing streak continued when he ran solid placings in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1400m) and Listed Daybreak Lover Stakes (1600m).
Liberty’s Choice recorded another placing at black-type level when he finished second behind Rock Sturdy in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and he performed fairly in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) before he failed to impress in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley on October 25.
The five-year-old has accumulated over $300,000 since he started his racing career, but he has only been able to record one win from his 20 race starts.
Liberty’s Choice is currently available at 2015 Missile Stakes odds of $9 with Ladbrokes and he is on the sixth line of betting behind the drifting Messene ($3.50), early market mover Temple Of Boom ($4.40), Expressway Stakes winner Weary ($6), the in-form Lord Leofric ($7) and Bjorn Baker-trained Burbero ($8.50).
Gai Waterhouse is chasing her fourth win in the Missile Stakes after previously taking out the race with Sweet Idea in 2014 and Dance Hero in 2003 and 2005.