Gai Waterhouse’s The Metropolitan winner Glencadam Gold was one of the notable absentees from the Flemington gallopers on Tuesday morning, the 2012 Melbourne Cup-bound import given a swim at the beach instead due to a sore foot.
The Refuse To Bend four-year-old won their opening four starts down under, including the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m), in Sydney this spring before their below par 15th when beaten nine lengths by French star Dunaden in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in their Melbourne race debut last time out.
Despite the big defeat Waterhouse and connections opted to press on with a campaign targeting Tuesday week’s $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington Racecourse.
“He’s gone from a 5/4 chance to probably a 40/1 chance in the [Melbourne] Cup, and he’s every bit as good a chance, probably better,” Waterhouse said confidently.
Waterhouse has assured the race fans that the horse’s fitness issue, Glencadam Gold having heat in his off hind foot, is only a minor one and that their beach work was in fact more preferable to a run at Flemington.
“He had a bit of heat in his off hind foot so I sent him to the beach,” Waterhouse explained.
“He’s going to swim to Auckland and back – I did that with Pharaoh and won two Doncasters!
“You think about athletes when they’re training – often going into those big races they can just cruise. I find the swimming is a real arm to my training, I do it with a lot of my horses.”
While they are not one of the best credentialed hopefuls for this year’s Melbourne Cup Glencadam Gold, who is due to be ridden by Tulloch Lodge’s No. 2 rider Tommy Berry, is assured of a start in the ‘race that stops a nation’ sitting 18th on the latest order of entry.
Melbourne Cup betting odds at bookmaker.com.au have 2010 winner Americain as the $6 favourite over the defending champ Dunaden ($7).
Glencadam Gold meanwhile is a $51 chance.
Waterhouse has them nominated for the $200,000 Group 2 Lexus Stakes (2500m) on Victoria Derby Day this Saturday where they will get their first look at Flemington ahead of their acid test on Melbourne Cup Day, their trainer confident the track will suit both the horse and young Berry.
“Flemington is a much less complicated track than Caulfield,” Waterhouse said.
“I engaged Jimmy Cassidy who is a senior rider who has won at Caulfield many, many times and I thought he was the right jockey for the day.
“Flemington I think is a much easier track for a young jockey like Tommy Berry and I think he will be well suited on the horse.”
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