Gai Waterhouse will make a fashionably late entrance to the Brisbane winter carnival this weekend with Charing Cross set for the Queensland Derby and Tullamore being aimed at the Brisbane Cup.
Charing Cross booked a place in the Derby thanks to his third at Randwick late last month. That race was taken out by Peter Snowden’s Yulalona who is considered one of the better chances in the Derby.
Waterhouse said that Charing Cross had earned his crack at a Group One race after making his through the restricted grades in Sydney.
“He’s come a long way and he won well on the Kensington track before finishing third on a heavy track at Randwick last start,” said Waterhouse.
Charing Cross produced an impressive workout at Randwick on Monday covering 1200m in 1.21.80, with a last 600m of 37.4, and a last 200m of 11 seconds.
Charing Cross will be ridden by Waterhouse’s stable jockey Nash Rawiller, who was aboard the horse the last time it won.
Tullamore on the other hand will be ridden by Chris Munce in the Brisbane Cup over 2400m.
Munce has won the Brisbane Cup four times, including last year with imported galloper Crossthestart.
Waterhouse believes that Munce’s knowledge of the Eagle Farm track will be a boost for Tullamore who finished second behind the well tried Legsman last start in the Winter Cup at Rosehill.
“Tullamore has been making steady progress and Chris Munce’s local knowledge will be a big asset.
“He had every chance in the Winter Cup but I feel he’s earned his spot in the Brisbane Cup.” Waterhouse said.
Tullamore’s last run was in the 2400m Winter Cup was on a slow Rosehill track, but Waterhouse believes the horse thrives on tough racing.
“We found backing him up was the key to him.
“He ran second at Gosford in March and we backed him up five days later to win on the Kensington track. The penny has only just dropped with him,” said Waterhouse.
Both Charing Cross and Tullamore were floated to Brisbane early on Tuesday.
However Gai will not be on hand to witness the feats of her first two winter carnival entries, as she has just left for son Tom’s wedding in Sicily.
Charing Cross is currently rated a $26.00 chance in the Group One Queensland Derby.