A standout performer since first appearing on track in December last year, trainer Gai Waterhouse is confident of an equally impressive spring campaign for talented three-year-old Almalad, who is set to resume in this weekend’s Group 3 Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens.
Yet to taste anything but success over three competitive starts so far, Almalad has not been seen at the races since displaying a keen turn of foot in the final straight at Eagle Farm to secure a maiden victory at the highest level of Australian racing in the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) on June 7th.
Expected to headline nominations for the 2014 The Run To The Rose, Waterhouse gave the Al Maher gelding a particularly glowing wrap; expecting him to develop into one of her highest performing racehorses so far.
“Almalad is just thriving. He’s one of the most exciting horses and he will go down as one of the best horses I’ve trained,” Waterhouse told the Daily Telegraph.
“He’s a beautiful horse, he’s a gelding, he doesn’t have the heaviness of a colt so he’s very light on his feet and he’s got an amazing will to win.”
Partnered by the in-form hoop in his impressive J.J. Atkins triumph, jockey Tommy Berry is thrilled to have retained the ride on Almalad through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and is excited by the prospect of further Group 1 success.
“He gives me a great feel in his work, he’s honest and he does everything right,” Berry said.
“He’s only had the few starts, but he’s already won a Group 1.
“He has come back in great order and he’s definitely a horse whose name will be on everyone’s lips.”
Contesting two impressive barrier trials before debuting competitively with a comfortably victory in the Nuturf Plate Maiden (1000m) at Gosford on December 27th, Almalad more than stamped his claims as one to watch through 2014 when charging home to beat a talented field which included the likes of Sports Edition by nearly four lengths in the TAB Early Quaddie Plate (1200m) on May 24th; his only other start prior to the J.J. Atkins.
Nominations for the 2014 Run To The Rose are due to be released Monday morning.