Trainer Gai Waterhouse has Liberty’s Choice, Ryker and Longma in the 2014 Queensland Guineas field and she is happy with the condition of all three runners heading into the Group 2 event this weekend.
Waterhouse opted to give all three of her Queensland Guineas contenders’ just one piece of serious trackwork heading into the race on Saturday and said that she is happy with the variety of horses that she has in the $350,000 event.
“They were all fresh and I thought that working them on the Monday I could make up mind if I needed to give them some extra work through the week or just let them shoot the breeze, as I call it, into Saturday,” Waterhouse said.
“I am really happy with them and there is a real mixed variety of horse.
“You have a horse like Ryker, who is a big strong gelding out of Redoute’s, and a horse like Liberty’s Choice that is a lovely sleek colt by Redoute’s Choice.”
Longma, who joined the Waterhouse stable at the end of last year after previously being prepared by Mick Price, is rated Waterhouse’s best winning chance in the Queensland Guineas and will be stepping up to Group level for the first time since his spring campaign.
The son of Sebring scored his first race win for Waterhouse at Warwick Farm on May 7, but was beaten as favourite when fourth behind Abbasso in the Girvan Waugh Handicap (1400m) at Royal Randwick on May 24.
Liberty’s Choice has not scored a race win during his autumn preparation, but performed well in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 12 and flashed home late to finish second behind classy stablemate Cosmic Endeavour in the Inglis Guineas (1400m) at Scone on May 17.
Ryker finished third behind Cosmic Endeavour and Liberty’s Choice in the Inglis Guineas and performed fairly in both the Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) and Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) after recording the second race win of his career in the Albury Guineas (1400m) on March 28.
Hucklebuck is currently favourite in 2014 Queensland Guineas betting markets, while Longma ($15), Liberty’s Choice ($16) and Ryker ($21) are all available at double figure odds in what is a very open betting race.
Waterhouse is chasing her second win in the Queensland Guineas after taking out the 2004 edition of the race with Winning Belle.