Progressive gelding Travolta is a chance to head to Western Australia for the Perth Summer Racing Carnival after being included in the nominations for the Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) that will be run at Ascot on New Year’s Day.
Travolta recorded his first race win in almost a year in the Listed ATC Cup (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens last Saturday and the strong staying performance indicated to trainer Gai Waterhouse that the five-year-old was ready for a step back up to 2400 metres.
Jockey Tommy Berry revealed yesterday that he believed Travolta would be set for the Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) at Royal Randwick on Boxing Day but Waterhouse, the newly dubbed ‘Cups Queen’, could be tempted by the $400,000 prizemoney on offer in Perth.
Travolta is yet to win in three previous attempts over 2400 metres, finishing sixth in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m), second in the Listed Australia Day Cup (2400m) and eighth in the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m), and Berry admitted that there is still some question marks over what is the ideal distance for the Handsome Ransom gelding.
The 2013 Perth Cup was won by Talent Show and the son of Melbourne Cup winner Jeune will have the chance to become the first horse since Magistrate (1981 and 1982) to win the race in back-to-back years after he was nominated for the Group 2 event.
Talent Show started his spring campaign with an impressive second in the Listed Goodwood Sprint (1300m) at Belmont but failed to fire when taken to Melbourne for the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and produced less than stellar performances in the Listed Ascot Gold Cup (1800m) and the Railway Stakes (1600m).
Mr Moet finished second behind Talent Show in the 2013 edition of the Perth Cup and the talented galloper will be given the chance to turn-the-tables in next year’s race.
The Mosayter gelding raced consistently without winning during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, finishing sixth in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and fourth in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m), and did not have much of a chance from an outsider barrier when he finished seventh behind Luckygray in Railway Stakes.
Gai Waterhouse may not be the only Sydney-based trainer with a runner in the Perth Cup; with Gerald Ryan including imported galloper Martinvast in the nominations.
Martinvast has recorded just one win from thirteen starts since arriving in Australia last year, taking out the Husson At Vinery Handicap (2200m), and started his summer campaign with a third place finish in the Cruise Guru Handicap (1600m) before finishing a credible fifth in the Goulburn Cup (1600m).
Other locally trained runners included in the Perth Cup nominations were: Playing God, Ranger, God Has Spoken, Black Tycoon, Rohan, Moonlight Bay and Elite Belle.