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It is shaping up as a scintillating Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival for ace Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse this year whose Melbourne Cup 2012 bound European import Glencadam Gold races second up at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday.
While Waterhouse will have one eye on her star colt Pierro who resumes in the Run To The Rose looking to buck the trend of Golden Slipper winners failing in their three-year-old debuts before heading interstate to race in the Caulfield Guineas and possibly even the Cox Plate, the unbeaten youngster isn’t her only spring hopeful looking to impress at the meeting.
Other notable runners for Waterhouse on Saturday include Choisir colt Proisir coming off a win on debut at Hawkesbury who takes on a field of Golden Rose roughies in the $85,000 TVN Jockeys Trust Handicap (1400m), and another promising last start winner in Glencadam Gold.
Never shy to comment about how she believes the current balloting conditions for the country’s most famous race, the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November, unfairly favour the internationals, this year Waterhouse has resorted to importing her own raiders for the world’s richest handicap.
One of them is the former Sir Henry Cecil-trained Refuse To Bend gelding Glencadam Gold purchased from a tried horse sale in England last October.
The lightly raced five-year-old debuted down under for Waterhouse after a 10 month break at Canterbury on August 15 and did well to hang on in a tight finish to win a 1550m handicap.
They now step up to stakes company on Saturday contesting the $100,000 Listed Premier’s Cup (1800m), the horse to be ridden by Tommy Berry from the inside alley.
Glencadam Gold is the early Premier’s Cup betting market mover having been backed into $3.60, trailing only the Chris Waller-trained $2.50 favourite Stout Hearted, winner of the Premier’s Cup Prelude last time out, who vies for their third win on the trot this month.
Nominated for all the spring majors from the $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) in Sydney on October 6 to the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) in Melbourne on October 27, Glencadam Gold’s main agenda is of course the 2012 Melbourne Cup.
Currently they are only rated a $61 chance in the pre-nomination Melbourne Cup odds at bookmaker.com.au, but Waterhouse is confident they can go through the grades this preparation and be a competitive force in the ‘race that stops a nation’.
“I think he’s a really exciting stayer in the making,” Waterhouse said.
“He’s Melbourne Cup-bound and he’s got to get qualified.”
Another person that believes Glencadam Gold is a good chance on Saturday and in over the coming months in races like the $2.65 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 20 is Berry who rides them under race conditions for the first time in the Premier’s Cup.
“There doesn’t look to be much pace so I’ll be looking to use his natural speed,” Berry said of Saturday’s race.
“I don’t want to touch him at all though, he can get a little fired up. I think it is going to take something pretty good to beat him, especially when Gai is talking Caulfield Cups.
“I worked him about a week and a half ago with Julienas and he had his measure pretty easily, he is going pretty good the horse.”
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