Gai Waterhouse’s white-hot colt Needs Further gets their first chance to display their potential as a stayer when they step up to 2000m for the first time at Randwick on Easter Saturday.
Needs Further, a three-year-old son of Encosta De Lago, boasts a brilliant Win Rate of 75% having won three of their four career starts to date from distances of 1200m to 1600m.
Last start on April 9 the exciting galloper produced a strong finish to beat home Divorces by one and a quarter lengths in the Group 3 Carbine Cub Stakes over the mile at Randwick, which was Needs Further’s first stakes assignment.
“He is a very exciting horse in the making,” trainer Gai Waterhouse said of Needs Further following the Carbine Club Stakes.
“They don’t usually go through their grades so quickly.
“In a handful of runs he has been able to go from maiden class to midweek class and now win a Group race.”
On Saturday Needs Further will face off against 11 rivals in the $125,000 Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Sydney Cup Day jumping from barrier eight with Tim Clark in the mount.
Waterhouse will also be represented in the race by the ultra consistent Fast Clip, the Nash Rawiller ride drawn ideally in barrier three.
Snippetson gelding Fast Clip took out the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes over 2000m at Rosehill last start on Golden Slipper Day beating home the Bart Cummings-trained I Think I Do by one and three quarter lengths.
“This is such a good horse,” Waterhouse said of Fast Clip after his Tulloch Stakes win.
“I will run him in the Frank Packer Plate then turn him out and take him to Melbourne.
“He’s a total professional and is such an exciting horse.”
Other notable acceptors for the 2011 Frank Packer Plate include locally-trained Duelled gelding Shootoff (barrier two) coming off a third to Fast Clip in the Tulloch Stakes, improving Hussonet filly Honor Net from the stables of John O’Shea, Anthony Cummings’ last-start Canterbury winner Hard Liquor (barrier five) and Happy Trails.
Prepared by Paul Beshara in Adelaide, Good Journey gelding Happy Trails has consistently performed at Group level over their 10-start career to date.
In the spring they finished second to That’s Not It in the Group 3 Red Anchor Stakes (1200m) while their best start this season was finishing runner-up to Shrapnel in the Group 2 Yallambee Classic (1200m) at their home track at Morphettville on March 14.
Last start Happy Trails ran a credible fourth to Needs Further in the Carbine Club Stakes and having drawn well mid field in barrier six and due to be ridden by top jockey Damien Oliver on Saturday, they come right into contention.
“You couldn’t miss the run, could you,” Beshara said of Happy Trails’ performance in the Carbine Club Stakes.
“Damien (Oliver) wasn’t happy with his ride and he’s desperate to stay with him which is a great sign.
“Damien said he would easily run 2400m metres and he was keen for me to take him to Brisbane for the Queensland Derby.
“But I’m going to spell him (after the Frank Packer), let him grow and then get him ready for the Melbourne spring.”
Sydney Cup Day features a bumper race card highlighted by four Group 1 showdowns, the Saturday Royal Randwick racing action due to kick off at 12:26pm (AEST).
2011 Flinders Lane Frank Packer Plate Final Field & Barrier Draw
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||415X112121||FAST CLIP||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||3||56.5kg||98|
|2||2332X05694||PRAECIDO (NZ)||David Payne||Corey Brown||4||56.5kg||92|
|3||3X111||NEEDS FURTHER||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||8||56.5kg||90|
|4||X419X80543||SHADOWS IN THE SUN||Anthony Cummings||Craig Williams||12||56.5kg||84|
|5||3X242X5254||HAPPY TRAILS||Paul Beshara||Damien Oliver||6||56.5kg||81|
|6||8359X64903||SHOOTOFF (NZ)||Graeme Rogerson||Michael Rodd||2||56.5kg||81|
|7||5447421||HARD LIQUOR||Anthony Cummings||Ms Kathy O’Hara||5||56.5kg||69|
|8||417X6059||MUIRFIELD (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Kerrin McEvoy||1||56.5kg||67|
|9||2100X4759||QUARTERBAR||Michael Moroney||Glyn Schofield||9||56.5kg||64|
|10||18||ALLEZ TARA||Kevin Moses||Brenton Avdulla||10||56.5kg||62|
|11||32434||HONOR NET (NZ)||John O’Shea||Christian Reith||11||54.5kg||70|
|12||97056X426||SONG SHAN||Anthony Cummings||Glen Boss||7||54.5kg||63|