Gai Waterhouse has Pheidon, Liberty’s Choice and Woodbine in the 2014 Epsom Handicap field and the leading Sydney trainer is delighted with all three of her charges in the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick tomorrow.
Pheidon has been set for the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) since the start of his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival preparation and has produced credible performances in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on September 6 and the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) at the same venue on September 20.
Waterhouse told Racing Ahead hat Pheidon has had the most traditional Epsom Handicap lead-up of her three chances in the race and believes that the Al Maher gelding represents good value at his current Epsom Handicap odds.
“Pheidon has been set right from the start to compete in the Epsom and I suppose he has had the most perfect preparation leading into it, but the other two have been very much in my mind to run in the race if they came right and they certainly did last weekend,” Waterhouse said.
“This is a horse I sent to Melbourne and he won most impressively down there.
“He is a quality gelding and he will be well and truly forgotten in the market.”
Woodbine started his spring preparation with a close sixth in the Sportsyear Sprint (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 13 before returning to winning form with an impressive performance in The Paslode Handicap (1350m) at the same venue on September 27.
Waterhouse has always had a big opinion of the Hussonet entire, who is out of Group 1 winner Miss Finland, and is confident that the four-year-old is capable of recording a win at the highest level of racing.
“Woodbine has come off a win and you can’t beat that,” Waterhouse said.
“He is a very flashy beautiful chestnut colt.”
Liberty’s Choice has only recorded one win from 11 starts, but is taking good form into the Epsom Handicap after he finished second behind Rock Sturdy in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens last weekend.
The Redoute’s Choice entire performed well without winning at Group level during his 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival preparation and Waterhouse does not believe that the four-year-old is without a hope in the Epsom Handicap.
“I have always had a lot of time for Liberty’s Choice,” Waterhouse said.
“He has only had one win, but here is running in a Group 1 race.”
“He was placed behind Cosmic Endeavour in all the Group and Listed races in Queensland during the winter, so he has plenty of ability.”
Woodbine ($21) is rated the best of Waterhouse’s Epsom Handicap chances in the betting market with Ladbrokes Australia from Liberty’s Choice ($26) and Pheidon ($41).