Sydney’s leading lady of racing Gai Waterhouse may have uncovered a genuine Melbourne Cup hope for the spring after her four-year-old Savabeel gelding Tullamore saluted at Scone on Saturday.
Consistent galloper Tullamore secured their fourth career win from 16 starts on the weekend and their second on the trot when taking out the $70,000 Patinack Farm Benchmark 75 Handicap (2200m) at the second day of this year’s Scone Carnival.
Starting as the $2.40 favourite in the betting, Tullamore impressively carried 60kg to victory giving their rivals plenty in the weights, but was still able to hit the line a long-neck ahead of Straight Albert ($10) while the Tim Martin-trained Irish Love ($9) finished off the trifecta.
The gallant performance at Scone has Waterhouse mapping a campaign in the Sydney and Brisbane features for the improving stayer, Tullamore ultimately to be aimed at the world’s richest handicap, the 2011 Melbourne Cup at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November.
Tullamore, bred and formerly raced in New Zealand, will now be tested in their first black-type assignment since joining Waterhouse’s stable in August of last year.
Waterhouse has scheduled this Saturday’s $100,000 Listed McKell Cup (2400m) at Rosehill for Tullamore’s next run before heading to Queensland for the $300,000 Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm’s Stradbroke Handicap Day, June 11.
“He’s a really exciting stayer,” Waterhouse said of Tullamore, who she hopes will grow into a stayer of the same calibre of stablemate and Caulfield Cup winner Descarado.
“Once I took the blinkers off him before his last start at Hawkesbury he just hasn’t looked back,” Waterhouse continued.
“He’ll go to the McKell Cup and then the Brisbane Cup and then we’ll spell him and get him ready for the Melbourne Cup in the spring.”
Jockey Nash Rawiller also had plenty of praise for Tullamore who he tips as a true stayer to watch.
“He gives me the impression he’ll be a better horse next time in,” Rawiller said.
“The penny is starting to drop with him and he’s going to make a nice staying horse.”