Gai Waterhouse is over the moon with the progress of her progressive galloper Western Symbol since their stakes double in Sydney earlier this season as they head towards a run in the 2012 Brisbane Cup on Stradbroke Handicap Day in Queensland.
The five-year-old High Chaparral gelding has been in flying form this season winning their opening three starts including their break through stakes success in the Group 3 HKJC Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on Golden Slipper Day with Tommy Berry aboard.
Berry was also in the saddle when Western Symbol backed up on April 21 at Randwick to beat home their Group 1 winning stablemate Herculian Prince, who is favourite to win the Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup at Rosehill this Saturday, in the Listed Japan Racing Association Plate (2000m).
Last start Blake Shinn replaced Berry and rode Western Symbol to a close second behind Star Of Octagonal in the Listed Rowley Mile over the unsuitably short 1600m at Hawkesbury on May 5.
Waterhouse is keen to get them back up in distance with Western Symbol to head up to the sunshine state for the winter carnival where they will target the $300,000 Group 1 Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 9.
“I’m over the moon with this horse,” she said.
“He excites me more every time he runs.
“The Brisbane Cup is his target and then we’ll look to the spring like we did 12 months ago with Tullamore.
“He’s got more brilliance than Tullamore.”
Tullamore was Waterhouse’s 2011 Brisbane Cup winner who went on to enjoy a good Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival highlighted by their third to Southern Speed in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and second to former Melbourne Cup winner Americain in the Group 2 Drake International Cup (2500m).
They also ran in the world’s richest handicap when finishing a credible eighth to Dunaden in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup over the two-miles at Flemington, and Western Symbol could also be on the 2012 Melbourne Cup path this spring.
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