Gai Waterhouse is undoubtedly one of the most successful trainers operating today, but the nation’s biggest race continues to elude her.
The hall of fame trainer is yet to win a Melbourne Cup and this year she will ramp up her team in an effort to reach Australian racing’s holy grail.
Waterhouse came close last year as former British stayer Fiorente parachuted in to run second behind Green Moon in what was his first race on Australian soil.
The Randwick trainer will again look to Fiorente to head her charge but he will be joined by two other key imports, Michelangelo and Carlton House, in chasing Cup success.
So focused is Waterhouse on the Melbourne Cup, she restricted Fiorente to just one autumn start. In a testament to his versatility and clear natural speed, the five-year-old gelding dashed home for third behind All Too Hard in a distance far short of ideal in the All Aged Stakes (1400m).
Waterhouse is currently on holidays in Europe but reported on her website that Fiorente is well into the early stages of his preparation, impressing stable jockey Nash Rawiller at trackwork on Tuesday.
“Nash described [him] as fantastic,” Waterhouse said.
“Fiorente worked over 1400m and is ticking along beautifully. The import is in the top five in betting in all spring classics but the Cup is no doubt his major goal.”
Also put through his paces on Tuesday was Carlton House who went amiss after failing on Australian debut in March.
The Street Cry entire was a Group 2 winner in the UK and Waterhouse indicated he is now a lot more at home in Australian conditions.
“Carlton House continues to tick along towards the spring with a nice gallop this over 1400m,” she said.
“[Trackwork rider] Mark Newnham mentioned that the Queen’s horse felt great.”
Michelangelo did not work on Tuesday and is still yet to step out in Australia. The son of Galileo was a Group 1 placegetter in the UK and is part-owned by Greg Kolivos who is best known for racing champion colt Pierro.