Fat Al appears the most realistic chance of scoring a Group 1 win at the 2012 Melbourne Spring Carnival for top Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse when he contests the $1 million Emirates Stakes (1600m) on Saturday.
Waterhouse made a much-hyped entrance to Melbourne after dominating the Sydney Spring Carnival but her army of superstars including Pierro and More Joyous have so far failed to deliver her a victory in the top grade in the Victorian capital.
She has two final opportunities this weekend, with Fat Al a $7.50 chance in the Emirates and Hallowell Belle at $16 in the 2012 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m).
Fat Al will be having his first start in Melbourne this weekend and arrives in good form after winning the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick last month.
Waterhouse has been her usual confident self in regards to Fat Al’s chances this weekend where he faces a sharp 6kg rise in weight to 58kg from the 52kg he carried in the Epsom.
“I’m telling everyone to back this horse, he’ll win the Emirates he’s going that well,” Waterhouse said.
Despite the rise in the weights, Fat Al has plenty in his favour, including racing at a distance has won at twice before and a handy barrier five draw.
Tommy Berry was on board for the Epsom win and is confident of his chances of delivering more success this weekend.
“He would have to be pretty hard to beat off his last win, even though he’s going up a lot in weight,” Berry said.
Fat Al is one eight Group 1 winners in a strong Emirates Stakes field which will round out the Melbourne Cup carnival in style.
Lloyd Williams-owned galloper is yet to compete at the top level but is a $4.60 favourite to win this weekend.
The son of Rest is chasing a fifth consecutive victory and has won three of four races over 1600m and five from seven starts at Flemington.
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