A midweek meeting at Canterbury isn’t where you would expect to find two leading Melbourne Cup contenders but Gai Waterhouse-trained duo Glencadam Gold and Michelangelo took part in an exhibition gallop over 1400 metres at the unglamorous course yesterday.
Just like in their barrier trial meeting at Royal Randwick last Friday, Glencadam Gold easily had the measure of his recently imported stablemate and looked very comfortable as he worked home well.
Michelangelo, who finished at the tail of the field in last week’s barrier trial, once again appeared to struggle, with jockey Nash Rawiller brandishing the whip on the Galileo entire in an attempt to get him going.
Waterhouse admits that Michelangelo has struggled since coming to Australia but believes he will improve significantly when given an opportunity over more ground.
“Michelangelo is struggling fitness-wise, but not struggling as a horse you only have to look at his coat,” Waterhouse told News Limited.
“He’s an outstanding stayer who just needs it further.”
Glencadam Gold was one of the revelations of the 2012 Spring Racing Carnival, after being imported from the United Kingdom, progressing from a narrow victory in a midweek race at Canterbury to impressive victories in the Group 3 Newcastle Cup (2300m) and Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) before running a credible sixth in the Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Waterhouse is clearly delighted with the condition of Glencadam Gold, indicating that he was a lot more forward in his preparation than Michelangelo, and believes the Refuse To Bend gelding can achieve even more success in Australia this year.
“Glencadam Gold is fitter and this will be his third preparation in Australia,” the leading trainer said.
“That makes a big difference; the horse who beat Fiorente in the Cup last year needed a preparation in Australia.”
The stables leading Melbourne Cup contender Fiorente did not take part in the exhibition gallop but is expected to contest another barrier trial next Friday.