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Co-trainer Gai Waterhouse has declared her love of recent stable acquisition Replique ahead of the Kiwi expat’s down under debut in the 2016 Tibbie Stakes at Newcastle on Friday.
The $125,000 Group 3 Tibbie Stakes (1350m) is one of three Group features on the Newcastle Gold Cup Day card at Beaumont Racecourse this spring and attracted 16 fillies and mares at nomination stage at the start of the week.
Waterhouse and training partner Adrian Bott will use the set weights plus penalties sprint to launch the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival campaign of talented New Zealander Replique.
The nicely-bred Darci Brahma mare is yet to race in Australia or as a four-year-old, but has trialled well twice in Sydney during August leading up to the Tibbie Stakes test.
A winner of two of her six starts before transferring to Waterhouse & Bott’s Sydney stables, Replique was last seen winning the Listed Southland Guineas (1600m) over the mile at Winton in late February.
That was just her second Black-Type start following a second behind Son Of Maher earlier that month in the Listed Dunedin Guineas (1400m) at Wingatui Racecourse.
Waterhouse is full of her usual confidence heading into the Tibbie Stakes on Friday, hoping to add to her outstanding record with former Kiwi mares over the years.
She has won Randwick’s Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) eight times in total, half of those victories in the mile and a half classic coming with New Zealand expats: Electronic (1995), Hula Flight (1996), In Joyment (1998) and most recently Coco Cobanna (2000).
“I just love her, she’s tough,” Waterhouse said of Replique speaking to Racenet.
“Rob found her and got me to buy her and she reminds me of those former Kiwi staying mares I’ve had success with.
“I think the further she goes the better she’ll be but she’s really impressed me as I’ve increased her workload and I’m looking forward to her running on Friday.”
This year’s The Metropolitan 2016 runs on Epsom Handicap Day, October 1, and could be on the cards for Replique if she shows enough potential in her earlier runs starting with the Tibbie Stakes.
Also set to represent the Tulloch Lodge team at Friday’s meeting is Dee I Cee in the $175,000 Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2200m).
The New Zealand-bred Istidaad gelding has been racing down under since mid-February but is yet to win on Aussie soil.
He ran ninth to Gallant in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) in early April during ‘The Championships’ and was last seen returning with a first-up second over 1600m at Randwick on September 3 in a Benchmark 80 run in the wet.
Dee I Cee carried 58kg that day and drops to the 54kg minimum in the Newcastle Gold Cup this week second-up.
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