In what may come as a shock to some Gai Waterhouse is chasing her first victory in the AJC Derby at Randwick on Saturday.Waterhouse will saddle up Light Brigade, who is coming off an impressive fourth in the Rosehill Guineas.
Waterhouse’s father, the legendary T.J Smith was able to capture the AJC Derby a record nine times, but so far it has been the race that has eluded Sydney’s queen of the turf.
“Absolutely, I’d love to win it. It’s a very special race.
“I’ve never won an AJC Derby and I’ve got a horse that’s very talented and beautifully bred,” said Waterhouse.
Light Brigade is by leading sire Redoute’s Choice and out of Winning Belle, who was second to Makybe Diva in the 2005 Australian Cup.
The classy three year old colt finished third behind Ilovethiscity in the Randwick guineas before running a credible fourth in the Group One Rosehill Guineas over 2000 meters.
“I think he’s got a sensational chance and if it rains he has got an even better chance.
“He’s gone through the classic campaign and acquitted himself well and I think he has improved each time,” said Waterhouse.
Waterhouse was quick to dismiss suggestions that her colt would not run a strong 2400 meters, given what punters have seen from the horse this campaign.
“There might be a couple that stay the 2400 meters a little bit easier but he’s certainly got his foot on the till.
“Probably the other day in the Rosehill Guineas he wasn’t suited by the muddling pace and then the sprint home. I think it will be a differently run race on Saturday,” said Waterhouse.
New Zealander Jimmy Choux remains favourite for the Derby after an impressive win in the Rosehill Guineas, while there has been support for the other Kiwi runner in He’s Remarkable.
Sportingbet Australia have reported that He’s Remarkable was backed in from $21 to $15 following heavy support.
“We have taken a series of big bets on He’s Remarkable, and there hasn’t been a great deal of support yet for Jimmy Choux.
“But I have no doubt that punters will step into Jimmy Choux tomorrow given the way he won the Rosehill Guineas,” said Sportingbet Australia CEO Michael Sullivan.