While positive swab dramas play out in England with a Queen of England-owned horse, another of Her Majesty’s stock will be on show in Sydney this Saturday with Cox Plate 2014 favourite Carlton House stepping out at Randwick.
Randwick’s Kensington track hosts the final metropolitan meet of the 2013-14 racing season on Saturday.
Adding a royal element to the day’s proceedings will be a gallop on the course proper from the Gai Waterhouse-trained Carlton House.
In the Street Cry stallion’s first public appearance since April the rising seven-year-old will be on show ahead of their much awaited spring return.
Jockey Tommy Berry will be taking them through their paces over 1200m before the day’s opening race.
Formerly prepared in Great Britain by Sir Michael Stoute, under whose training they ran third to Pour Moi in the 2011 Epsom Derby, Carlton House has had just the five runs in Australia since joining Waterhouse’s Sydney stables back at the start of last year.
Injury saw their opening campaign down under cut short just one run in when unplaced in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes at Rosehill.
Ten and a half months later they were back for this year’s autumn carnival that included two Group 1 runs.
Their first elite level performance here was a devastatingly close second to Silent Achiever in the Ranvet Stakes (2000m) when in front throughout before just getting nosed out on the line.
They backed up a month later then at Randwick in the aptly named Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) and were up front again, this time losing their lead over the 150m but hanging on to run four lengths away third behind It’s A Dundeel (1st) and Sacred Falls (2nd).
While their form here has been hit-and-miss, the bookies are taking no chances with Carlton House for when they return for their new season campaign.
The galloper, who is yet to race in Melbourne, is targeting one of the Victorian carnival’s majors with Waterhouse long ago naming the $3 million Group 1 WS Cox Plate (2040m) as their big aim.
They lead the futures Cox Plate odds too for the Moonee Valley feature on October 25 paying $9 to win in the pre-nomination markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Exactly how they’re travelling and if that price is justified will be better known after they strut their stuff on Saturday along with a number of other spring bound stars.
Others on display at Randwick on Saturday include reigning Crown Oaks winner Kirramosa who will work over 800m after the first on the card with Berry also in the saddle, and two of Carlton House’s stable mates.
Waterhouse-trained duo Sweet Idea and Diamond Drille will work together over 1200m after Race 2 ahead of their new season returns to be ridden by Tim Clark and Berry respectively.
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