The Gai Waterhouse trained Fast Clip forced his way into the Doncaster Mile next week with a hard fought win at Randwick today.
Fast Clip will join stable mates More Joyous and Niagara in the Group 1 $2m Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick after out slogging Speediness in the Group 3 $125,000 BMW Doncaster Mile Prelude (1600m).
The winner of todays’ Prelude is exempt from the Doncaster ballot, giving Waterhouse another strong representation in the great time honoured feature race of the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
A change of tactics saw Tommy Berry take the four year old to the front and from there he dictated the race and dug deep in the straight to hold off a tenacious Speediness who also was responding to the hard riding of Craig Williams.
The pair went stride for stride from the top of the rise to the fifty metre mark where Fast Clip finally got the upper hand, capping off another great day for the Waterhouse stable with a winning treble.
“What a wonderful way to finish the day. And didn’t Tommy ride him absolutely brilliantly, he jumped the barriers, took control of the race right from the start. It was almost over from the start,” Waterhouse said.
“He’s been a bit of a woose this horse, he’s been driving me crazy. He just hasn’t quite concentrated on his work so I did some little exercises with him the other day, like Pilates, and I can’t tell you how much it switched him on. And ever since I did it, it was though I had a different horse.”
Berry was looking to test Fast Clip over the 1600m and found the key to him when he let him stride to the front in the early stages.
“Won the last last week and won it again today. I have to thank Gai, she’s got this horse perfect here today and it was the last chance to get in the Doncaster, so he’s going very well and it was a great courageous win,” Berry Said.
“The key today was to get him to run the mile so we wanted him to get a nice easy time in front so I banged him out of the gates and made sure he got there nice and easy, got a nice easy time in the middle stages. This horse is tough, typical Gai Waterhouse warhorse.”
Berry will now have a certain Doncaster ride and is happy to hop on whichever one Waterhouse selects for him.
In a wide betting race, Fast Clip was sent out at $8 with Speediness at $10. Favourite Illo ($6) never figured in the race at any stage and wound up in twelfth spot.