Gai Waterhouse has an excellent record in the Widden Stakes and she is confident that So Serene can deliver her another victory in the 2016 edition of the Group 3 event at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Waterhouse has been the star trainer of two-year-olds in Australia for the better part of two decades and she has previously taken out the Widden Stakes with the likes of Miss Bussell (2000), Secret Land (2002), Pasikatera (2005), Horizons (2009), Driefontein (2012) and Overreach (2013).
So Serene made her racing debut with a second place finish behind Blue Diamond Stakes winner Extreme Choice in the Inglis Nursery (1000m) at Royal Randwick on December 12 and Waterhouse believes that the Exceed And Excel filly is good enough to win the Widden Stakes and stamp herself as a genuine Golden Slipper contender.
“She is a very good filly in the making,” Waterhouse said.
“She ran a solid second in the Inglis race about six weeks ago and then she has trialed since.
“I am extremely pleased with this filly heading into the Widden Stakes and I think that he is an excellent chance.
“She and Scarlet Rain are right up there and they are definitely Slipper chances.”
Another horse that Waterhouse has high hopes for is River Wild, who will carry the top weight of 61 kilograms in the More Than Just Winning Handicap (1400m).
River Wild returned to winning form in the Top Ideal Handicap (1200m) at Royal Randwick on January 16 and Waterhouse is confident that the Fastnet Rock colt can win the race on the way to either the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 20 or the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 20.
“He has a terrific chance,” Waterhouse said.
“People get the heevie jeevies when horses get a bit of weight, but you have to remember that these horses carry much heavier weights in track work every single morning.
“I think that he is well-weighted in the race for what he has done and he is a progressive type.
“He is at exactly his winning racing weight and I am happy with everything that he has done.
“After this he will either go to the Hobartville or he will come down for the CS Hayes in Melbourne.”
So Serene is currently available at 2016 Widden Stakes odds of $4.80 with Ladbrokes and she is on the second line of betting behind the well-backed Aghna ($4.40).