Sydney’s leading lady of racing Gai Waterhouse may boast an imposing record in the Group 1 races at home this weekend, but she’ll also play a strong hand in Melbourne’s Turnbull Stakes 2013 on Saturday.
Waterhouse has livewire chances in both the $500,000 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and the $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m), which she’s won seven and eight times respectively, at Royal Randwick this weekend.
But she’ll vie for just her second ever win in the $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington Racecourse saddling up a two-pronged attack with the well fancied Fiorente and last year’s The Metropolitan winner Glencadam Gold.
Her maiden, and to date only, Turnbull Stakes winner was All Our Mob back in 1995.
This year she’ll look to not only win the race but run the first two.
Likely to start at the top of the Turnbull Stakes odds is her Monsun stallion Fiorente, the Irish import having just their sixth run down under.
They debuted here in the Melbourne Cup last spring and made an immediate impact with their close second to Green Moon, another likely Turnbull Stakes acceptor, in the ‘race that stops a nation’.
Fiorente then broke their maiden status in Australia last start when narrowly defeating a decent field in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley, an effort they are tipped to improve on going up to the 2000m for the Turnbull.
The smart stayer sharpened up for the weekend with a nice piece of trackwork at Flemington on Tuesday when ridden by Damien Oliver who sung them post-workout praises.
“Damien partnered him this morning and he said Fiorente was really fluid in his action and glided over 1400 metres on the dirt,” Waterhouse told AAP yesterday.
Oliver will be replaced by race jockey Nash Rawiller for the Turnbull who has opted to give up some plumb Sydney rides to stay on Fiorente.
Caulfield – Melbourne Cups bound Glencadam Gold meanwhile shoots for their first win since taking out The Metrop this time last year, the Refuse To Bend gelding also running a brave sixth in the Melbourne Cup that prep.
They were performing well below par since then however but looked to be on the improve last start when crossing just a length away runner-up to Moriarty in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) at Randwick, Waterhouse rating them a strong chance alongside their better fancied stable mate.
“Both horses are on their home track and could easily run first and second,” she said.
Stay tuned for the Tunbull Stakes field to be released shortly.
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