A front running win by Ecuador in the Listed $100,000 W J McKell Cup (2400m) at Randwick today has booked him a ticket to Queensland to run in the Brisbane Cup.
In typical Gai Waterhouse style, jockey Adam Hyeronimus took Ecuador ($10) straight to the front and dictated the tempo for the race from the start.
Ecuador still had control of the race as heads were turned for home and when Hyeronimus let the High Chaparral six year old go at the top of the rise it was obvious that no one was going to run him down.
Runner up Iggi Pop ($20) tried hard and Havana Cooler ($8) also ran on well from back in the field.
“Didn’t he ride him a treat,” Waterhouse said.
“He judged him so perfectly. He has great front riding tactics. He has got natural understanding how I like horses to race and he understands the tempo of the race.”
The disappointment of the race was the Darren Weir trained English import Raw Impulse who was sent out as the $1.60 favourite but after settling in the second half of the field, struggled in the straight to pick up the placegetters, winding up in fourth spot, four lengths from the winner.
Waterhouse was confident before the running of the W J McKell Cup and she is also confident of Ecuador running well in the Group 2 $300,000 Evergreen Turf Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm in two weeks.
“Well Brisbane Cup here we come,” Waterhouse said.
“I can’t wait for Ecuador. I have been very patient with this horse and it has paid dividends.”
“He has got a lot of potential, he has just been a little slow maturing.”