English import Greatwood can cement a place in the Group 1 The Metropolitan with a win in the Group 3 $125,000 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
The lightly raced five year old has had two runs for Gai Waterhouse since arriving in Australia and has acclimatised to the Australian racing conditions quickly.
Waterhouse kicked off Greatwood’s first Australian campaign over 1400m in an Open Handicap at Rosehill on August which saw the Manduro gelding set the pace before finishing third to Entirely Platinum .
With Tommy Berry in the saddle again Greatwood was sent to the front one more time and was able to hold off stablemate Bonfire to lead all of the way for his maiden Australian win in the Listed $100,000 Premier’s Cup (1800m) at Rosehill on August 30.
Stable foreman Mark Newnham is confident that Greatwood can repeat his last start winning effort and become a major force in the Group 1 $400,000 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October 4.
“I think we have already seen that he’s going to be up to the grade,” Newnham told the Sportsman.
“After his first run Tommy got off him and named him as a Metropolitan style horse and he came out the other day and confirmed that.”
While some European horses take a while to settle into their new surroundings, Newnham said that Greatwood had no trouble fitting into the Tulloch Lodge routine.
“Some of them adapt straight away and some take a while but he is one that has certainly adapted really quickly,” Newnham said
“One of the attributes that he has is that he has good barrier speed which a lot of European horses don’t.”
“He’s only a lightly framed horse so he won’t improve much with fitness but with the experience of our racing, even though he has adapted well.”
Newnham said that Greatwood didn’t have to lead in all of his races and will probably take a sit in the Kingston Town Stakes behind stablemate Laidback Larry who likes to get out in front and bowl along.
Reports from the stable is that Greatwood has continued to do well since his last start all the way win at Rosehill.
“The last start winner Greatwood (Manduro x Gaze) was Tommy Berry’s best of the morning after a tremendous 1400m gallop. The former Euro worked home his last 200m in 12.7 and he looks primed for another good run on Saturday heading potentially towards the Metrop,” Waterhouse wrote on her website.
Greatwood’s main opposition appears to be the Team Hawkes trained La Amistad who is being aimed towards a Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup campaign.
La Amistad has been installed the $2.80 favourite for the Kingston Town Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of Greatwood at $4.80 while the Chris Waller trained He’s Your Man is the only other runner under double figures at $5.50.