Gai Waterhouse is predicting an improved Woodbine to step out during the 2015 Spring Carnival after returning to Tulloch Lodge in fine shape.
The leading Randwick trainer sent Woodbine to the Veterinary Surgery for a gelding operation at the end of his last preparation and is confident that was the right decision following his indifferent form during the Autumn.
“Woodbine is the exact type of horse that will benefit from the ultimate gear change and there is no doubt he is in for a big preparation,” Waterhouse wrote on her website.
Woodbine has had one trial since resuming work this time in and was unextended to run second to Star Wondering in a 904m Rosehill barrier trial on July 7.
Waterhouse has reported that the Hussonet four year old has continued to please the stable since his trial and worked to the line strongly at the end of a 1200m workout last Friday morning.
“Steve (O’Halloran, work rider) mentioned that the newly gelded Woodbine has “come through his trial well” after guiding him over 1200m, coming home their last 200m in 12.1 seconds,” Waterhouse wrote.
Woodbine is set to have another trial next Friday at Randwick over 1200m before Waterhouse maps out a Spring Carnival program for the rising five year old.
Waterhouse had that much faith in Woodbine’s ability that after winning a BenchMark 84 over 1350m at Rosehill last September, she stepped him straight up to Group 1 company and he managed to finish midfield when eighth to the Chris Waller trained He’s Your Man in the Group 1 $500,000 The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick in October.
But the four year old failed to fire during the 2015 Autumn Carnival and after being unplaced in two restricted class races was beaten three and a half lengths when eighth of eight behind Laser Hawk in the Group 3 $125,000 Strathayr Newmarket Handicap (1400m) at Newcastle on March 18.