Waterhouse chasing another stakes win
Gai Waterhouse will chase her third stakes success in the space of a week when she starts lightly-raced stayer Merensky Reef in Saturday’s Listed Christmas Cup at Rosehill.
Waterhouse is currently on a skiing holiday in Aspen but her stable has been firing while she’s been away.
She collected the Festival Stakes with Rabbuka on Saturday along with the Magic Millions Wyong Slipper a day later with Brightexpectations.
Merensky Reef is set to back up in this weekend’s Listed feature provided he does well during the week following his third to Zazabeau over 2000 metres at Rosehill on Saturday.
The gelding has had two starts over the 2400 metre Christmas Cup journey finishing a fighting half-head second to Scouting Wide and solid third to Star Ripper, both last month.
If he runs well in Saturday’s feature, a start in the Group Three Summer Cup (2400m) on Boxing Day could await.
"He is a model of consistency and he puts himself in the race," Waterhouse’s racing manager Robyn Hartney said.
"We’ve just got to work out whether he is up to the top grade because in two weeks there is the Summer Cup.
"He will tell us on Saturday whether he is up to that sort of race."
Merensky Reef is one of 10 nominations for the Christmas Cup with entries headed by in-form Bart Cummings-trained gelding Star Ripper, a son of his 2007 Cox Plate winner Dane Ripper.
Paul Cave will chase his sixth win in the race with Dothisdothat after winning it previously with Prince Weyand (1981), Pasta Express (1999), Airlie Bird (2002), Sadarar (2003) and most recently Taken At The Flood three years ago.
Waterhouse’s other entries include Villiers Stakes hopeful Joku in the Benchmark 95 Hcp (1400m) and Extreme Mover in the 2YO Hcp (1100m).
The juvenile colt will be an interesting runner as he finished five lengths second to standout filly Solar Charged at his only start.
"There is an interesting form line there and if he can win on Saturday he will substantiate that form," Hartney said.
"The boys who ride him work have been telling me he has really switched on after that start and taken improvement from it."
By Mandy Cottell