The spring – summer season for Sydney’s Gai Waterhouse continued on a high at Rosehill Gardens over the weekend with the Melbourne Cup winning trainer taking out the ATC Cup 2013 with the progressive favourite Travolta.
Improving on a first-up eighth at the track 14 days previous the Handsome Ransom five-year-old posted their fifth career win in the $100,000 Listed Blackwoods Uvex Safety ATC Cup (2000m) with a tidy two and a half length effort.
Ridden by regular hoop Tommy Berry for their first stakes start since February the Kiwi expat, who jumped the $3.10 top elect, had a gun run from the inside alley in the eight horse field.
They hit the front early and stayed there in an all the way effort, accelerating over the final 600m, that promised better things to come during the coming summer features.
In the end they ran away with it and put an easy margin on the Chris Waller-trained Hoylonny ($8.50) while their better fancied stablemate Secessio ($4.60) finished just a neck further back for third.
“Travolta was very brave,” winning jockey Berry said after the victory
“He was well placed by Gai and (stable manager) Mark Newnham.”
Berry was also impressed with the way the horse stepped up from 1350m first-up to the 2000m, and the way they responded when he asked them to in the closing stages.
“It is not easy for horses to step up to 2000m at their second run back from a spell but the one thing about Gai’s horses is you know they are fit and they run very strongly to the line,” he said.
“We were able to control the tempo today but it would not have worried me if we had to go quicker.
“This horse has a nice cruising speed and still has that freshness on his side. There’s more improvement in him, too.”
It added to the recent cups success of Waterhouse who won her maiden ‘Loving Trophy’ at Flemington with Fiorente earlier in the month before declaring herself as the “Cups Queen”.
“And the Ballarat (Cup), I should say,” Waterhouse said post-win on Saturday speaking of another of her cups wins this season with The Offer.
“She’s the Cups Queen isn’t she.”
Waterhouse’s plans are now to step Travolta up to the mile and a half for a race like Saturday week’s $100,000 Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) at Royal Randwick on December 14.
“I feel he will run a strong 2400m, particularly on his home track,” Waterhouse said.
Berry however believes the horse has the fitness to press onto the other summer stakes features, but perhaps not the ability over that distance.
“We’ll definitely try him at it,” he said according to AAP.
“But he’s one of those horses who runs 2000 metres that strong, and you think he’s going to get further but he might not.
“He has struggled a few times at this trip and I still think it is a bit of a question mark.”
If things go well in the 2013 Christmas Cup then Waterhouse will press onto the $125,000 Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) back at Randwick on Boxing Day, a race they could be better suited to distance wise.
“Travolta lost his way for a while there but we gave him a short break, let him shoot the breeze and he has come back well,” Waterhouse said.
“He was very good today so we can head towards the Christmas Cup and Summer Cup with a bit of confidence.”
See below for the full ATC Cup 2013 results and finishing order.
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2013 ATC Cup Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Race 4 – 30/11/2013
|1||5||TRAVOLTA (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||–||1||56kg||$3.10F|
|2||3||HOYLONNY||Chris Waller||Peter Robl||2.3L||7||57kg||$8.50|
|3||4||SECESSIO (GB)||Chris Waller||Christian Reith||2.6L||4||56.5kg||$4.60|
|4||1||MALUCKYDAY (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Jay Ford||4.3L||2||59kg||$10|
|5||6||FULGUR (GB)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||7.6L||3||55.5kg||$7|
|6||10||SINDARIN||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||8L||5||54kg||$21|
|7||8||FROZEN ROPE||Adam Duggan||Tim Clark||9.8L||6||54.5kg||$15|
|8||2||PERMIT (GB)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||12.3L||8||57.5kg||$8.50|
|–||7||SYSMO (FR)||Tony McEvoy||James McDonald||–||0||–||–|
|–||9||FIELDMASTER (NZ)||Patrick Payne||Ms Kathy O’Hara||–||0||–||–|