Almalad will carry 60 kilograms in the 2014 Run To The Rose, but trainer Gai Waterhouse does not believe that the hefty weight will be a problem for the talented gelding in the Group 3 event at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
The scratchings of both Brazen Beau (59 kilograms) and Ghibellines (59 kilograms) means that Almalad will carry two kilograms more than closest rivals Nostradamus (58 kilograms) and Hallowed Crown (58 kilograms) and his task will be made even more difficult by the heavy state of the Royal Randwick track.
While the majority of trainers would question whether their horses are good enough to carry 60 kilograms to victory on a heavy track, Waterhouse has maintained her trademark confidence and she believes neither the heavy weight or the wet track will stop Almalad from winning the Group 3 Run To The Rose (1200m).
“This is a seriously good horse,” Waterhouse told Sky Racing HQ this morning.
“I know that they will all say that he has too much weight or one thing or another, but I don’t think that he has.
“That is what people don’t realise, they work on the wet track and they have 80 or 90 kilos on their back.
“They have to go around, they either go around on the slop at the different tracks because there is so much wet or they get on and are able to race on a beautifully manicured race course.”
Almalad made his racing debut with a narrow win over Pink Perfection in the Nuturf Plate (1000m) at Gosford on December 27 and was sent straight to the spelling paddock, missing the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
The son of Al Maher returned to the races with a dominant three and a half lengths win over Sports Edition in the Early Quaddie Plate (1200m) at Royal Randwick on May 24 and Waterhouse elected to throw the two-year-old in the deep end at Group 1 level in the J.J. Atkins at Eagle Farm on June 7.
Almalad did plenty wrong during the running of the J.J. Atkins, but he was still able to record a tough win over Brazen Beau and stamp himself as a contender for races like the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
Almalad is currently available at 2014 Run To The Rose odds of $3.70 and remains a narrow favourite from Nostradamus ($4), Hallowed Crown ($5) and Sarajevo ($6).