Gai Waterhouse’s sole chance of securing an impressive eighth Inglis Sires’ Produce Stakes victory this weekend is English, a smart filly in “fantastic” form according to her trainer.
Waterhouse boasts seven previous wins in the $1 million Group 1 Inglis ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m), the two-year-olds’ set weights classic running as one of four Group 1 races on the Royal Randwick program for Day One of The Championships this Saturday.
All seven of Waterhouse’s previous ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes winners, including her most recent Pierro (2012) had their final lead-up in the world’s richest race for two-year-olds – the Golden Slipper.
That’s a formula Sydney’s leading lady of racing relies on again this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, her progressive daughter of Encosta De Lago having run three-quarters of a length away second to her star stablemate Vancouver in the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 21.
Waterhouse has since ruled Vancouver out of the Sires’ Produce over more distance this weekend, but is confident English is the right Tulloch Lodge representative to get the job done after a tidy piece of trackwork over the weekend.
“She’s fantastic,” she told AAP.
“Her work on Saturday morning was absolutely super.”
English has won her other two career starts to date including a victory at Randwick on March 7 over Ottoman in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m), so she has experience at the track ahead of the weekend’s major.
While she’s up in distance for the Sires’ Produce, the bookmakers are keeping her safe in betting and she currently occupies the third line of the markets at $8 with the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Blue Diamond Stakes winner Pride Of Dubai ($3.60) the one to beat.
Not only does Waterhouse boast a commanding record in the race, but the fillies have also beaten the boys in the past two editions with Guelph (2013) and Peggy Jean (2014) adding to the stats that stack up in English’s favour.
For her two runs this time in English has been ridden by Blake Shinn, but the suspended hoop will be replaced on Saturday by Thomas Huet for his maiden Sires’ Produce ride.
Huet has also picked up the ride on one of Waterhouse’s three chances in the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on Saturday, Diamond Drille.
Waterhouse shoots for a record-equaling eighth Doncaster Mile victory this autumn having scored her seventh, the same number her late father TJ Smith enjoyed during his career, with More Joyous (2012).
Her best chance of success this weekend is top French import Pornichet ($9.50), getting in on 51kg, who won the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) last Saturday.
He will be joined by Waterhouse’s Canterbury Stakes winner Cosmic Endeavour (52kg) and Huet’s ride Diamond Drille (51kg) who hasn’t won a race since last autumn’s Queen of the Turf.
She won’t be accepting for her Doncaster Prelude winner from the weekend Excess Knowledge however who she didn’t believe to be well-weighted even on the 50kg minimum.
“It (the weight scale) doesn’t give the rising stars like him any advantage,” she said.
The 2015 Inglis Sires’ Produce Stakes final field is due out tomorrow morning making now the time to check out the juicy all-in odds open at Ladbrokes.com.au before the markets firm with the acceptances.