A notable performer over his short racing career so-far, trainer Gai Waterhouse has been thrilled with the continually building form and class of Almalad and has confirmed the three-year-old will line up for his third competitive start this spring in Friday’s Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley.
Unable to match the late pace when beating a solitary runner home in the Group 3 Run To The Rose (1200m), Almalad responded well to a step-up in distance in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) on September 13th, finishing fourth.
Returning to a mile for the first time since charging home to win the Group 1 J.J. Atkins at Brisbane’s Eagle Farm Racecourse on June 7th, Waterhouse said she is expecting a polished performance from the Al Maher gelding in the 2014 Bill Stutt Stakes.
“He’ll hold his own, you don’t have to worry about Almalad,” Waterhouse told TVN.
“I’m excited that he’s here and that he’s put himself here. This is a class horse.
“I think you’ll see the best of him now that he’s down here.
“Steven Arnold said he had a little look around and was a little new, but that he had a fabulous stretching action and could not have been more impressed with the way he felt.”
Securing a comfortably victory in the Nuturf Plate (1000m) at Gosford on debut in late December, Almalad more than stamped his claims as one to watch when jogging home to win the TAB Early Quaddie Plate (1200m) by close to four lengths before overcoming a talented field for his maiden victory at the highest level of Australian racing in the J.J. Atkins.
A final field and barrier draw for the 2014 Bill Stutt Stakes is due to be released on Wednesday morning.
Confirmed to target the featured Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 11th this time in, Almalad is currently available at generous odds of $11 for success with leading online bookie Ladbrokes Australia.