Gai Waterhouse’s exciting 2013 Australian Cup prospect Glencadam Gold looks spot on for the Melbourne Festival of Racing after smashing their trial at Royal Randwick on Friday morning.
The imported Refuse To Bend gelding enjoyed a sensational first racing season down under with Waterhouse during the spring winning their opening four starts in Australia including the Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) and a brilliant four length effort in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m).
Their breakthrough Group 1 victory was followed by a disappointing 15th however when defeated nine lengths by the then reigning Melbourne Cup winner Duanden in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), their run hampered by an awkward barrier 17 of 18 draw.
They improved on that run in the world’s richest handicap next start however finishing a credible sixth with just four lengths between them and the winner Green Moon in the Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup over the two miles at Flemington in November.
Their Melbourne Cup jockey Tommy Berry was excited by what he felt riding them in the ‘race that stops a nation’ and has been singing them praises ahead of their autumn return tipping them for greatness this season.
Glencadam Gold had their first official trial of 2013 on January 17 when a credible third at Randwick.
And, as predicted by Berry, there was big improvement on that hitout this morning when Glencadam Gold put three lengths on stablemate Julienas in the first 1200m open trial at Randwick finishing in a sharp 1:13.10 – Berry also in the saddle there.
It is now more likely Glencadam Gold will go to the $1 million Group 1 Darley Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington Racecourse on March 9 although Waterhouse’s racing manager Bruce Slade said that it was still a tough ask getting them ready in time.
“That was only his second trial, so to get to the Australian Cup in a month’s time would still be a big ask, but he’s come back in enormous condition,” Slade said on Friday.
“He’s as good as he’s ever been and possibly even better.”
The latest Australian Cup betting odds are led by Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon and Caulfield Guineas champ All Too Hard paying $4.20 and $4.60 respectively.
Glencadam Gold then occupies the third line in the markets at a quote of $8.
Waterhouse also relished seeing her glamour mare More Joyous return with a tight trial win over Ashokan, an effort that has her looking pretty ahead of a possible title defense in the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival at the end of April.
The star Sydney trainer’s other trial winners at the meeting were then Breeders Plate winning juvenile Whittington, consistent four-year-old Under The Sun who has won five of their nine career starts to date, up-and-coming Starcraft filly Seductive Star, unraced Magnus three-year-old Magnetron and Zabeel filly Twizzler who is yet to have an official start.
Another notable non-Waterhouse-trained trial winner at Randwick this morning was the John O’Shea-trained Steps In Time who put five lengths on Chris Waller’s Australian Cup hope Foreteller as she prepares for the $175,000 Group 2 Breeders’ Classic (1200m) at Warwick Farm on February 16.
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