Waterhouse, Berry dominate at Canterbury
Two horses with staying potential and a possible Flight Stakes filly gave Gai Waterhouse and Tommy Berry a perfect start to racing at Canterbury on Wednesday.
The trainer and jockey teamed up to make a clean sweep of the first three races.
But it was regally bred first starter Forever Loved, sporting the Greg and Debbie Kolivos colours of blue and red made famous by Pierro, who caused most excitement.
There was drama at the start of the filly’s race when favourite Happy Meteor and Castigate were scratched at the barrier but Forever Loved made her own luck on the speed.
She claimed the leader in the straight and raced clear to win the TAB Rewards Handicap (1100m) by 2-1/4 lengths.
Waterhouse’s racing manager Mark Newnham said the trainer had Group One aspirations for the High Chaparral filly who is out of Diamond Like, a sister to Group One winner Viking Ruler and 2003 Victoria Derby placegetter Kempinsky.
“I think Gai is trying to get her towards the Flight Stakes,” Newnham said.
“It’s just a matter of whether or not it will come too soon for her.
“She is a filly who is improving quickly and I wouldn’t put it beyond her.
“She certainly has the ability to make a nice stakes filly.”
Given her pedigree, Newnham says Forever Loved will have a nice future as a broodmare.
“Her and Pierro will make a lovely couple eventually.”
The Waterhouse stable also has hopes for Desert War’s brother Our Desert Warrior following his first-up victory in the Casino Prince @ Vinery Handicap (1550m).
The four-year-old finished fourth in last year’s Geelong Classic before a midfield finish in the Victoria Derby.
Wednesday’s race was his first start since and Newnham was happy the big-striding gelding was able to win off an extended break around the tight-turning Canterbury circuit.
He confirmed Our Desert Warrior would be nominated for the major spring races in Sydney including the Epsom Handicap.
“All the entries go in on Monday and he’ll be in the Epsom and Metropolitan entries,” Newnham said.
Danas Best opened the account for Waterhouse and Berry when he made the most of an unchallenged lead to thump his Australian Turf Club Handicap (1900m) rivals by 3-1/2 lengths.