Gai Waterhouse’s Mornington Cup failure Travolta will look to get back on track as their trainer aims to get their ratings up in time for a Sydney Spring Racing Carnival campaign where a race like the $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) could be on the cards.
Rising five-year-old Handsome Ransom gelding Travolta, formerly prepared and raced in New Zealand, hasn’t raced since mid-February where they failed to impress with a distant eighth behind Ballarat galloper Tuscan Fire in the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m).
That was a disappointing result for Waterhouse and connections after Travolta showed promise in black type company in their two lead-up runs.
In the Listed Gosford Cup (2100m) then were under two lengths away third behind Moriarty and Reuben Percival before backing up at Warwick Farm for a second to Shadows In The Sun in the Listed Australia Day Cup over the mile and a half.
Something went amiss at Mornington however but Waterhouse’s stable rep Mark Newman is willing to put the run behind them after Travolta, sixth to Silent Achiever in last year’s New Zealand Derby, came back to win back-to-back 1200m Randwick trials since then.
“His trials have been fantastic and his work has been very good,” Newnham said.
They return to race conditions this weekend running in the last at Rosehill Gardens with a wide draw to overcome in the $85,000 Natski Handicap (1500m) as they look to develop into Waterhouse’s latest star Kiwi expat.
“If you take a line through horses like Tullamore, Herculian Prince and Reuben Percival, they were all better at their second preparation (in Australia),” Newnham said.
A few more runs in that kind of class and hopefully Travolta can get their ratings up enough to earn a shot at bigger things in the spring such as the $200,000 Group 3 Newcastle Cup (2300m) in late September or even The Metropolitan at Royal Randwick on October 5.
“Gai is trying to lift his (Travolta’s) rating but he’s the sort of horse who is capable of training on to a race like the Newcastle Cup or the Metropolitan,” Newnham said.
Waterhouse won the 2010 Metropolitan with another former New Zealander, Herculian Prince.