Trainer Gai Waterhouse has revealed that the 2014 Cox Plate is the most likely Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival target for imported galloper Carlton House.
Carlton House missed the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival due to a number of issues, but stamped himself as genuine weight-for-age contender with impressive front-running performances in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 22 and the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 19.
Waterhouse believes that the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 and the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day are both nice races for Carlton House and expects the Street Cry entire to continue to lead from the front during his spring campaign.
“He may race in the Epsom, but more likely a race like the Cox Plate and the Mackinnon would be right up his alley,” Waterhouse said.
“He has speed and he leads easily.
“No one expected that Carlton House would become a front-runner and be such a strong horse leading, but he has done exactly that and has changed in Australian conditions.”
Carlton House joined the Waterhouse stable at the end of 2012 and made his racing Australian racing debut with a 13th place finish in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and Waterhouse was unable to get the Her Majesty The Queen Of England-owned galloper to the races in the spring.
Despite proving a frustrating horse at times, Waterhouse has developed a strong bond with Carlton House and she believes that he is one of the most intelligent horses that she has ever trained.
“This is a seriously good horse,” Waterhouse said.
“He is one of our very favourites, not just because he is royally owned, but because he has a most amazing personality.
“When he came in from the paddock ten days ago he wasn’t happy and his feet sore and any other horse would have dragged themselves out of the box, but not Carlton House.
“He refused to come out of his box and he knew that he was sore and knew that he was not feeling comfortable.
“He is really like a person and he has the most remarkable personality.”
Carlton House is currently on top of the 2014 Cox Plate betting market at Ladbrokes Australia and is available at a quote of $9 to record his maiden victory at Group 1 level.