Ace Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse and jockey Kathy O’Hara are quietly confident heading into this weekend’s 2012 Lord Mayor’s Cup at Rosehill Gardens that they can get the job done with race favourite Herculian Prince.
The six-year-old Yamanin Vital gelding is out to break a lengthy drought when they take on nine quality rivals in the $100,000 Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup (2000m) on Saturday, Herculian Prince not having won a race since the Group 1 The Metropolitan Handiap (2400m) at Randwick in October of 2010.
Despite the distance between wins Waterhouse believes they are primed and ready to strike on Saturday after their promising last start second coming within a long neck of younger stablemante Western Symbol in the Listed JRA Plate (2000m) at Randwick on April 21.
“I think his runs have been really good this preparation, really, really good,” Waterhouse said.
“The 2000 metres is probably his best distance so why wouldn’t he win this race?
“He’s tossed into it with 59.5kg.”
O’Hara will replace regular rider Nash Rawiller and it will be just the second time she has ridden the horse following one run in November of 2009, which was the import’s debut run down under.
Describing Hercuilan Prince as a “typical Gai Waterhouse-type runner” O’Hara is known for her ability to get frontrunners home.
She Rode the Nick Oliver-trained Voice Commander to his all-the-way wins in the Listed Wagga Gold Cup last May and last January’s Listed Frank Underwood Cup over the 2000-metres, and hopes she can do the same with Herculian Prince on Saturday.
“He’s just a typical Gai Waterhouse-type runner and that’s probably how I’ll ride him,” O’Hara said.
“You know what sort of horse you’ve got underneath you with Gai’s horses and you know they are going to keep finding.
“You can probably put the test to them early and you’ll test everything else out before you test your own out.
“That’s probably the attitude I’m going to go in with on a horse like him.
“He’s got a bit of weight but I’ll hope to counteract that by letting him stride along and letting him be comfortable.”
Despite their dismal strike rate, their 59.5kg topweight, and outside barrier 10 draw, the bookies still believe Herculian Prince is the horse to beat and they top the Lord Mayor’s Cup odds at a quote of $3.70 through bookmaker.com.au.
Should Herculian Prince live up to expectations in the Lord Mayor’s Cup Waterhouse said they would continue onto the $500,000 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2020m) on May 19.
“We might go to Queensland and back him up in the Doomben Cup next week,” she said.
In the latest Doomben Cup odds, which are led by clear $2.20 favourite Manighar, Herculian Prince is rated a $16 shot.
The next in line for the prize are impossible to split according to the Lord Mayor’s Cup betting markets that have Guy Walter’s Emancipation Stakes winner Skyerush, the Ron Quinton-trained Crafty Irna and Chris Waller’s Australia Day Cup champ Wazn all installed as equal $4.60 second picks.
Check out the full weekend racing odds online at bookmaker.com.au today and get a better deal.
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