Gai Waterhouse-trained gelding Travolta is expected to press on to the Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) at Royal Randwick on Boxing Day after recording his first win in eleven months in the Listed ATC Cup (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Travolta started his summer campaign with a disappointing eighth place finish in the Wadalba Handicap (1350m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 16 but returned to his best form on the weekend; leading from start to finish to hold off the Chris Waller-trained duo of Hoylonny and Secessio in the Listed event.
Jockey Tommy Berry partnered Travolta during his winter campaign, when he performed consistently without breaking through for a win, and told Racing Ahead that he believes the son of Handsome Ransom is in career best form.
“He has definitely grown up a lot as a horse and matured a lot,” Berry said.
“You saw that on Saturday and it was a great effort stepping up to the 2000 metres second-up and dominating the race like he did.
“He looks like he has a very good preparation in store for him.”
Waterhouse said after Travolta’s win on Saturday that she would consider stepping the former New Zealand-trained galloper back up to 2400 metres but Berry said that he remains unsure whether the five-year-old is suited to the extended staying trip.
Travolta has performed well over 2400 metres in the past, finishing sixth behind Silent Achiever in the 2011 Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) and second in the 2013 Australia Day Cup (2400m), but has been unable to record a win over the distance and Berry believes Waterhouse is likely to keep to 2000 metres for the Summer Cup.
“There is still a question mark on whether he gets past 2000 metres,” Berry said.
“We tried him a couple of times last preparation and he didn’t disgrace himself, he ran a couple of placings, but he was a little bit one paced at the end of his trips.
“He feels like he was very strong at the end of the 2000 the other day and he feels like he will get over further.
“I think Gai has got the Summer Cup in mind for him, which is 2000 metres and should suit him very well.”
Waterhouse has previously taken out the Summer Cup with Stoway (2002) and Aqua D’Amore (2005), while Berry is chasing his first win in the Group 3 event.