The Gai Waterhouse stable is yet to decide on an autumn path for Hampton Court, but Racing Manager Adrian Bott believes that there are plenty of options for the talented colt.
Hampton Court made a slow start to his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign before he recorded his first black type win in the Listed Dulcify Quality (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 4 before he scored a most impressive upset win over First Seal and Sweynesse in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at the same venue a week later.
The Redoute’s Choice colt went into the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) as a dominant favourite and jockey Kerrin McEvoy took up the running on the three-year-old, but he weakened in the final stages of the race to finish a disappointing eighth.
Bott told TVN that the ability of Hampton Court to run out a strong 2400 metres is still under debate and the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) could still be an option for the three-year-old, while the impressive nature of his Spring Champion Stakes victory indicates that the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) could be the ideal race for the colt.
“We haven’t made any decision on what his aims will be for the autumn,” Bott said.
“The jury is still out on the Victoria Derby as there was a howling wind there that day and he was out facing it most of the way, so we haven’t really concluded that he didn’t stay.
“His win before that in the Spring Champion Stakes was quite stunning, so we know he’ll run a strong 2000 metres.
“There are many options for a high-quality three-year-old in the autumn so we’ll make those decisions once we see how he has come back and Gai will determine where she goes with him.”
Hampton Court was sent straight to the spelling paddock following his mediocre effort in the Victoria Derby and has now started pre-training.
Bott said that he is unsure when Waterhouse plans to send Hampton Court back to the races, but expects the Spring Champion Stakes winner to return to the races within the next fortnight to begin serious preparations for his autumn campaign.
“I expect he will be back in the stable in the next week or two,” Bott said.
“He’s had a nice spell and from all reports he’s done very well and we expect to see him back here in the next week or two.”
The Waterhouse stable are chasing their first win in the Rosehill Guineas since they took out the 2012 edition of the race with Laser Hawk.