Popular Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse is preparing for a supercharged spring carnival with her recently crowned NSW Horse of the Year More Joyous, including a possible clash with Peter Moody’s unbeaten champion Black Caviar in the Manikato Stakes 2011.
Five-time Group 1 winning More Than Ready mare More Joyous showed she was nearing her much anticipated race return with a solid barrier trial effort at Randwick last Friday.
Running fifth to stablemate Flying Success over 800 metres with Nash Rawiller in the mount, More Joyous was doing her first official trial since her disappointing finish in the Doncaster Mile back in April.
“I’m over the moon with her,” Waterhouse said.
“She told us she wanted to trial, she was jumping out of her skin and I couldn’t be happier with her.”
Waterhouse has pencilled in the $500,000 Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 30 as the likely first-up run for More Joyous.
“She will go straight to Melbourne, the Manikato Stakes is the race we’re talking about (to resume in),” Waterhouse said.
The early-season showdown could shape up as one of the spring’s most scintillating with odds-on favourite to take out the Australian Horse of the Year honours, Black Caviar a possible contender along with last season’s ace juvenile Sepoy.
Following the Manikato Stakes, More Joyous is set to progress on to a number of other elite level features during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival including the $500,000 Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m), the fillies and mares feature to run at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, October 29, during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
She will not, however, be given the chance to improve on her fifth to So You Think in last year’s Cox Plate when the $3 million weight-for-age feature rolls around again this October.
“She’s been paid up for (the Cox Plate) but it’s not on the agenda,” Waterhouse said.
Another star among Waterhouse’s stables that trialled last Friday is reigning Caulfield Cup winner Descarado.
After an earlier 1200 metre trial win on August 5, High Chaparral five-year-old Descarado scored another successful hitout on Friday this time over 1250 metres.
Descarado was last seen running sixth to recently deceased Cedarberg in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill in April.
On-track to defend his title in the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 15, Descarado is set to race first-up this prep in the $300,000 Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 10.
“I’m thinking seriously about kicking him off over 1600 metres at Moonee Valley on the 10th,” Waterhouse said.
The latest 2011 Caulfield Cup odds at Luxbet have Descarado rated as a $35 long-shot, while Peter Moody’s promising mare Lights Of Heaven sits at the top of the markets at $7.50.
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