The controversial split between racing personality and entrepreneur John Singleton and master trainer Gai Waterhouse continues to make headlines with Brisbane horseman Kelso Wood taking over the preparation of Singo’s smart mare More Strawberries who makes her debut for him in the 2013 Silk Stocking at the Gold Coast this weekend.
Owner Singleton has opted to remove his horses from Waterhouse’s care after a blow-up over the failed performance of stable star More Joyous in the All Aged Stakes in Sydney on Saturday, and information over the horse’s health that may have been shared with the trainer’s bookmaker son Tom Waterhouse and not Singleton.
But one trainer’s loss is another’s gain and Wood will get his chance to prove he has what it takes to build on a professional association with Singo and some of his horses from Strawberry Hills when he races More Than Ready five-year-old More Strawberries, who has been in his care since the spring, in Saturday’s $150,000 Listed Attwood Marshall Lawyers Silk Stocking (1200m).
Singleton and Waterhouse had an earlier argument with the owner threatening to take horses off her last October when she purposely drew a Cox Plate barrier for More Joyous that Singleton did not ask for.
It was this tiff and not the one last weekend that is being spruiked as the reason Wood received More Strawberries after she failed to go into foal when sent to the breeding barn and was bought back to racing.
And, if he can get the mare into the winner’s stall this Queensland Winter Racing Carnival, more could be coming his way according to Melbourne Cup winning hoop Larry Olsen – a personal friend of Singleton’s.
“I would love Singo to put a few more horses up here in Brisbane and if More Strawberries goes well for Kelso, that certainly helps,” Olsen said.
“With things that have happened recently, you would think there might be an opening for Singo to send a few more horses north.”
One of six black type features on AD Hollindale Stakes Day, this year’s Silk Stocking attracted 27 nominations with More Strawberries allocated the 60kg top-weight.
The multiple stakes winner hasn’t raced since May last year when she backed up from a good win in the Hawkesbury Crown to run a disappointing 10th to Upon This Rock in the Dark Jewel Classic at Scone after which she was sent to stud.
Wood is confident the mare can make a successful return to racing as she heads towards a shot at the $500,000 Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 22.
“She has been going really well and there have been no setbacks,” he said.
Among the other more notable Silk Stocking nominees for 2013 are Peter Moody’s William Reid Stakes runner-up Karuta Queen, the Liam Birchley-trained Group 3 winner Whateverwhenever, the Peter Snowden-trained Detours and Miss Imagica coming off a Listed win at Toowoomba.
The final fields for the Gold Coast races this weekend including the Silk Classic acceptances will be released on Wednesday and published right here at Races.com.au.
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2013 Silk Stocking Nominations
Gold Coast – 04/05/2013
|1||MORE STRAWBERRIES||Kelso Wood||1||60kg||104|
|2||KARUTA QUEEN||Peter G Moody||2||58kg||100|
|5||MISS IMAGICA||Michael Nolan||4=||56kg||96|
|6||GAI’S CHOICE||David Pfieffer||6||55.5kg||95|
|7||PETTY CURY||Don Sellwood||7||55kg||94|
|8||DUAL CHAMBER||Matthew Dunn||8=||54.5kg||93|
|9||PANE IN THE GLASS||John P Thompson||8=||54.5kg||93|
|12||ARCTIC FLIGHT||Anthony Cummings||20=||54kg||80.5|
|13||BOUND TO BLUSH||John O’Shea||13=||54kg||91|
|14||CAPROSSA||Barbara Joseph & Paul Jones||20=||54kg||80.5|
|17||EMOTIONAL CIRCUS||Kris Lees||10=||54kg||92|
|19||NEXT THE UNIVERSE||Kris Lees||24||54kg||78|
|21||PUNCH ON||Peter Balzen||16||54kg||88|
|22||PURFECTRESS||Noel J Doyle||22=||54kg||80|
|23||SKATING ON ICE||Les Kelly||15||54kg||90|
|24||SOOKIE||John P Thompson||22=||54kg||80|
|25||STOLEN KISSES||Maryann Thexton||27||54kg||70|
|26||SUNSET AFFAIR||Gillian Heinrich||25||54kg||71.5|