We warned a couple of months ago that Gai Waterhouse was reeling after a disappointing season across the autumn and the spring carnival of 2011 was one she was targeting heavily.
She declared herself a force not to be forgotten over the next few months and she appears to be making good on that promise already with some good results at Newcastle.
More Strawberries was the winner of the Tabbie Stakes, her first up run for this prep and one which gave connections a massive boost of confidence.
Waterhouse says it was a gamble not starting her at the 1200m like she’s used to but it’s one that certainly paid off with a commanding victory.
In the same race the unbeaten run of Sweetest Melody came to an end and along with it so did her racing career.
In combination with Essence Of Success who flopped in the Newcastle Cup both mares are being retired to stud where their services will be worth plenty.
That’s not the case for More Strawberries though, she has a Group 1 to win.
“(She’ll run in) the Epsom or she might come down to Melbourne and run in the Toorak,” Waterhouse said.
She says the More Than Ready pedigree is starting to show through as she enters her fourth year.
“They seem to really mature with age and get a really lovely size and scope to them, they’re a pleasure to train,” she said.
While More Strawberries is enjoying a deserved break for the next week or two that’s not the case for a host of horses flying the Waterhouse banner at Rosehill tomorrow.
Shared Reflections runs in the Tea Rose Stakes, one many consider to be the most competitive race of the weekend but Waterhouse is confident her horse will come out on top.
“I think she can win, I’m very keen on her, she’s done everything right,” she said.
“It took me a long time to get her right…sometimes they don’t spell as well between the autumn and the spring.
“That’s why I’ve taken a little bit longer to get her right.”
Shared Reflections has had three trials leading into her first up run so Waterhouse doesn’t think she’ll be giving away much in the way of fitness to the other runners.
She has a few more live chances on the card as well with Charring Cross one she really rates in the Bill Ritchie Handicap.
“This is probably the most improved in the stable,” she said.
“He’s thriving…he’s just absolutely having a ball.”
In the Hill Stakes it’ll be the second up Tullamore.
“He’s doing a similar path to what Descarado did last year…you wouldn’t have though he’s a weight for age horse but I didn’t really have a choice unless he went south to Melbourne,” she said.
More Joyous will also be at Rosehill tomorrow however she won’t be racing, it will be another exhibition gallop with her return still a couple of weeks off.