If there is one thing that Gai Waterhouse cannot be accused of it is being a pessimist.
The high profile trainer will send often troublesome colt Ashokan to the $500,000 Inglis Guineas (1400m) at Scone on Saturday which she believes could be a stepping stone towards the Cox Plate.
Waterhouse said “with a break” the three-year-old could develop into a contender for Australasia’s weight-for-age championship but at the moment is focusing on the task at hand.
Formerly trained by John O’Shea, Ashokan will be having just his fourth start for Waterhouse this Saturday.
The More Than Ready colt is coming off a Hawkesbury Guineas third and left his trainer confident he can record his first win under her guidance following trackwork on Wednesday.
“Ashokan worked strongly this morning [Wednesday] over 1200m,” Waterhouse said in her blog.
“[Trackwork rider] Steve O’Halloran gave the colt a smiley face and noted that he was going very well. Ashokan heads to the Scone Guineas in terrific order.”
Prior to joining Waterhouse’s team, Ashokan scored the only win of his career in the 2012 Skyline Stakes as a two-year-old and was third in the Group 1 Golden Rose in the spring.
Waterhouse has a strong contingent heading to Scone’s two-day carnival which starts on Friday. The Randwick trainer has six runners across the two-day program including Scone Cup topweight Fat Al.
Also stepping out for Waterhouse are 2012 Magic Millions runner-up No Looking Back, consistent mare Miss Stellabelle, two-year-old filly No Looking Back and Irish import The Offer.