Gai Waterhouse is set to confirm spring plans for early 2014 Cox Plate favourite Carlton House when she meets with the horse’s owner, The Queen herself, in England this week.
Waterhouse is in the UK for the Royal Ascot Carnival, purchasing a 2014 Melbourne Cup hope in Café Society earlier in the week, and now ready to sit down with Her Majesty to talk racing.
While meeting one of The Queen’s stature would have most people in the racing industry very nervous, Waterhouse is looking forward to the chat where she will discuss next season goals for Street Cry stallion Carlton House.
“I’ll meet with Her Majesty on Saturday and talk about her horse,” Waterhouse told The Daily Telegraph from Ascot.
“I don’t get (nervous), she’s a racing lady. She loves her racing and loves being informed.”
A winner of three of their 15 starts to date, Carlton House joined Waterhouse’s Sydney stables as a European import early last year.
Formerly prepared by Sir Michael Stout, their first campaign down under consisted of just one failed run when 13th to Havana Rey in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes, after which they pulled up lame.
The now six-year-old spent the following 10 and a half months recovering before they raced again this February.
First-up they didn’t run on in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m), the Randwick feature far too short for their liking.
They rose through the ranks quickly after that when stepped up to more suitable distances for the rest of their autumn prep.
A Parramatta Cup second was followed by a devastatingly close second this time behind Silent Achiever when nosed out of the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) title on March 22.
Their latest effort was then in the aptly-named Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) where Waterhouse was supremely confident.
Unfortunately the fast tempo got the better of them there as they tiered around the 300m mark but held on to cross third behind the now retired It’s A Dundeel (1st) and Sacred Falls (2nd).
Now Waterhouse is keener than ever to win a Group 1 with the galloper who she believes is ideally suited to the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25.
Their other major target will then be the $1 million Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 1, Victoria Derby Day, which will open the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“I’d like to think the Cox Plate and Mackinnon Stakes would be perfect goals for Carlton House,” Waterhouse said.
Futures Cox Plate betting is already open at Ladbrokes.com.au with Carlton House the $9 favourite.
The other major players pre-nominations are then Chris Waller’s dual Doncaster Mile champ Sacred Falls ($11), Ranvet Stakes – The BMW double winner Silent Achiever ($11) and Waller’s Doncaster runner-up this year Royal Descent ($13).
To back any of these, and check out the full ante-post offerings for the upcoming spring majors, visit Ladbrokes.com.au where your first deposit will also be matched as a bonus bet valued up to $250 this season!