Waterhouse Aims for Two Cox Plate 2014 Runners

Gai Waterhouse already has one guaranteed starter for the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley Racecourse this Saturday, but the trainer is hoping to make a dual attack on the $3 million feature race with another.

Gai Waterhouse is hopeful Wandjina will join Almalad (pictured) in the Cox Plate final field.

Gai Waterhouse is hopeful Wandjina will join Almalad (pictured) in the Cox Plate final field. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) and Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) winner Almalad is assured of a start but Waterhouse believes stablemate Wandjina is deserving of a shot at the Group One race too.

“He (Wandjina) has got to get in,” Waterhouse told TVN.

“The owners have paid the late-entry fee — $130,000 — and if he gets in he’ll give everyone a real surprise.”

The three-year-old colt has just one win to his name, the Australian Turf Club (1000m) sprint back in February but finished well last time out in the Group 1 BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m), taking out third and showing he can keep up with the big boys.

Waterhouse is convinced his form alone deserves him a place in the Cox Plate field alongside Almalad, which will be drawn Tuesday morning.

“Look at last year. Shamus Award was a maiden. The form of Wandjina has been outstanding,” she said.

“He is not a blow-in. He ran third in the (Caulfield) Guineas and he should be there. He’s as tough as teak, he ran three weeks in a row.

“I’m really surprised how well Wandjina came out of the Guineas, he just copped it on the chin.

“And I can’t fault [Almalad]. What’s he done wrong? Nothing, he went mad on him that day in the Guineas.

“Almalad is such a consistent horse. I worked the pair of them yesterday and I could not be happier with how they worked.”

Both horses will gallop at Tuesday’s Breakfast with the Best ahead of the 2014 Cox Plate final field & barrier draw.

Almalad is currently paying $41 in the Cox Plate odds at Ladbrokes.com.au while Wandjina is paying $51.

Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) winner Fawkner leads the betting at $4 followed by Irish import Adelaide – the only horse invited to start in the Cox Plate – at $5.50.

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