The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The always optimistic Gai Waterhouse was quick to announce plans to send her exciting three-year-old Wandjina to Royal Ascot this season for a shot at the 2015 Diamond Jubilee Stakes before his retirement to stud in the spring.
The Snitzel colt set a new benchmark for his sire when James Harron Bloodstock paid $1 million for him as a yearling at the 2013 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale on behalf of his owners the Batemans.
A classy youngster from the start showing incredible speed and plenty of ability, Wandjina quickly worked his way up through the ranks including a third behind Shooting To Win in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) last October as a juicy 100/1 prospect at the bookies.
“The most important thing in a horse is to have speed,” Gai Waterhouse told Sky Racing on Sunday.
“He was the fastest yearling I had and then the fastest two year-old, but it has taken until now to put it altogether.
“The speed is something they have to have though… and he has it.”
His next start after the Caulfield Guineas third was a below par 10th to Adelaide in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) next time out, but his form this autumn since dropping back down in distance has been ace.
Kicking off his latest campaign, and his likely last in Australia, Wandjina won the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) and the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington.
Then he travelled to Sydney for the first time since last August to run a brave third, splitting the Peter Moody-trained retiring champ Dissident and the country’s best sprinter Chautauqua to run second in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) and stamp himself as the top horse of his age getting around.
“He’s the best three year-old in Australia and he marked himself that today,” Waterhouse said after Saturday’s All Aged Stakes result.
“This is a really good quality field and this should really be the $4million race.”
The All Aged Stakes run was a brave battle between the eventual winner Dissident, favourite to snare Australian Horse of the Year honours after he won his fifth Group 1 trophy in his final career run, and superstar youngster Wandjina.
Both Dissident and Wandjina are set to feature on the spring roster stud book at Newgate Farm this year, but first for the latter is a trip to England for a shot at an international elite level in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) on June 20, a race won by the mighty Aussie mare Black Caviar in 2012.
“If he travels well, he won’t be beaten,” Waterhouse said of the colt’s prospects in the Diamond Jubilee, a win in which will significantly increase his eventual service fee at Newgate Farm.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au over the coming weeks for all the latest on Wandjina and his international campaign.
Then to back the Aussie’s in England at Royal Ascot during our winter make sure you’ve got an account open with the country’s leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au who have all the best local, national and international horse racing odds open every week!
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