Gai Waterhouse’s star trio of Fiorente, Carlton House and Glencadam Gold have all returned to work as they begin preparations for the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
Waterhouse went into the 2012 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival expected to dominate the major races but finished without a Group 1 victory, with Glencadam Gold, Pierro and More Joyous failing to replicate the form they had shown in Sydney earlier in the spring.
Racing’s leading lady is already looking ahead to this year’s carnival as she aims to put the disappointment of last year and the dramas surrounding More Joyous behind her.
Imported stayer Fiorente made his debut for Waterhouse when finishing second in the 2012 Melbourne Cup (3200m) and returned to the races with an impressive third place finish behind All Too Hard in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m).
Waterhouse is once again setting the Monsun entire for the Melbourne Cup and said he is in excellent condition.
“Fiorente is a seasoned stayer and is ticking every book as he heads back to Flemington to try and go one better than his heroic effort in the Melbourne Cup last year,” Waterhouse said on her personal blog.
Glencadam Gold was plucked out of obscurity in Europe by Waterhouse’s husband Rob last year and went to win the Group 3 Newcastle Cup (2300m) and Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) before starting the Caulfield Cup (2400m) as favourite.
Although the progressive stayer failed to fire in the Caulfield Cup, he bounced back to run a strong sixth in the Melbourne Cup and according to Waterhouse is ready for another big spring campaign.
“The racing folk in Europe still cannot believe what this gelding has achieved since arriving in Australia,” Waterhouse said.
“This gelding has a wonderful free-flowing action and this was on show for all to see on Saturday morning at Randwick when he flew over 1200m coming home the last 200m in 11.3 seconds.”
Carlton House, who is owned by the Queen of England, arrived in Australia earlier in the year to great fanfare but finished a disappointing 13th in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m).
Despite the disappointing autumn result, Waterhouse believes the form the horse showed in England before coming to Australia is enough to suggest he could be a major player during the Spring Racing Carnival.
“Carlton House is another who is flying heading towards the spring,” the leading trainer said.
“In England everyone was quick to remind me that Carlton House got within two lengths of So You Think at Ascot last year and in the process, the entire beat Reliable Man.
“Reliable Man is the Waller trained grey horse that knocked It’s A Dundeel off in the Queen Elizabeth at Randwick during the autumn.
“This form line shows just how good Carlton House is.”
Waterhouse will get a better idea about the quality of her team in the coming week with all her spring contenders set to trial.