Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
While Gai Waterhouse’s main Golden Rose 2013 contender this spring is Overreach there’s plenty more depth in her rising three-year-old contingent including the undefeated Pitcrew.
Exceed And Excel filly Overreach is the obvious top chance for Waterhouse in the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 14.
Already the juvenile has amassed over $2.3 million in prize money over her five-start career which has included three wins most notably in the Group 1 Golden Sipper (1200m) – the richest race for two-year-olds in the world.
She was last seen running a brave third to Guelph in the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) when stepped up in distance just seven days after her Golden Slipper success.
Overreach is currently in the paddock preparing for her spring return in the $125,000 Group 3 The Run To the Roses (1200m) on August 31.
But Waterhouse’s latest Golden Slipper winner isn’t the only one in her current crop of juveniles heading towards the Golden Rose, her back-up team also looking very imposing.
One of the most notable is the to-date undefeated Sebring gelding Pitcrew.
After a big 2.5 length win on debut at Canterbury on June 5, Pitcrew retained their unbeaten status at Rosehill on Monday with a similarly impressive 1.3 length victory as the $2.45 top fancy in the $85,000 Australian Turf Handicap (1400m) on a muddy Heavy (10) Rosehill track.
“He’s always been a nice horse but he had a few temperament issues as a colt,” Tulloch Lodge stable rep Mark Newnham said after the win.
“As a gelding he hasn’t put a foot wrong.
“I like to see a horse when they are challenged to show their true qualities because he was there to be beaten.”
It was an effort that also impressed the winning hoop Nash Rawiller who was harbouring doubts about their ability to handle the badly rain-affected ground.
“He didn’t really stride out that well through it early but he gained confidence as he went along and I tried to keep him on the bridle as much as I could until the furlong,” Rawiller said.
Waterhouse knows there’s still a long way to go for Pitcrew from a winter win in the wet to the ace company they will come up against should they make the 2013 Golden Rose field.
But it’s a path the stable’s travelled before with Squamosa three years ago.
A known mudlark the son of Not A Single Doubt thrived in their opening three starts during the winter of 2010.
Their first two runs were on Heavy (9) courses at Randwick and they won both by three lengths.
From there they were an easy winner of the Group 3 Run To The Rose (1300M) before coming within a long neck of Toorak Toff when second in that year’s Golden Rose – a campaign Waterhouse is hoping Pitcrew can emulate in 2013.
“I’ll talk to Gai but the initial thought is to keep him rolling forward to the Golden Rose,” Newnham said.
“Squamosa ran in winter races in his year and he just got beaten in the Golden Rose so it can be done.
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