Gai Waterhouse has a number of smart rising three-year-olds headed towards the Group One Golden Rose next month and one of them will push his case for inclusion in the $1 million race at Randwick on Saturday.
Impressive debut winner Squamosa will have his first test in Saturday company in the Schweppes Handicap (1400m).
The colt made a good impression when winning by three lengths on debut on Randwick’s Kensington track at a midweek meeting earlier this month.
“I couldn’t be happier with him, he’s really a lovely horse on the way up,” Waterhouse said.
“He’s done everything right and he’ll win again.”
Waterhouse said she was impressed with the way Squamosa put a gap on his rivals when Nash Rawiller asked him to extend in the 1150m maiden win on a heavy track on July 7.
Asked if Squamosa was a horse who could go towards the Golden Rose on August 28, Waterhouse responded: “That’s where we’re heading.”
Waterhouse produced smart two-year-old Crossbow last Saturday when he scored in dominant fashion at Rosehill.
“Both (Squamosa and Crossbow) are rising stars who are coming in at the latter part of this season,” the trainer said when asked to compare the two.
“They have both been plagued by shin-soreness so they were basically a little bit immature and growing.”
Leading Waterhouse’s strong team of rising three-year-olds is Pago Pago Stakes winner Brightexpectations who has geared up for his return in the San Domenico Stakes on August 7 with two trial wins, while Golden Slipper placegetter More Strawberries will have her second barrier trial on Tuesday.
Waterhouse also has big opinions of unraced colts Mutamayez and Memorable Moment who are set to make their debuts in the near future after having their second trials of the campaign at Randwick earlier this week.
Three-year-old gelding Antiguan, meanwhile, will be Waterhouse’s only other representative on a relatively quiet day for the trainer at Randwick.
The last-start Warwick Farm winner was being considered for a start in a 1900m race against older horses at Canterbury on Wednesday but Waterhouse elected to instead run in the Randwick Betting Auditorium Handicap (2000m) against his own age.
“He’s made a bit of a quantum leap,” Waterhouse said.
With both Squamosa and Antiguan within Rawiller’s weight range, it means last weekend’s five-time winner Blake Spriggs will be without a ride for his boss at Randwick.
“He doesn’t have a ride for me on Saturday, I’m leaving him to the other trainers,” Waterhouse said.
“Nash will be riding Saturday, but Blake won’t be on the sideline for long.
“Aren’t we lucky to have such a talented lightweight (Spriggs) and the best rider in Australia (Rawiller) as the heavyweight.”
Rawiller booted home another winning double at Canterbury on Wednesday to virtually clinch his first Sydney jockeys’ premiership.
He is nine ahead of Corey Brown with just four meetings remaining.
Article by Mathew Toogood Aapracing