Waterhouse's added incentive at Randwick
Gai Waterhouse has extra motivation to train a winner at Randwick on Saturday, with the track celebrating its 150th anniversary.
Waterhouse has prepared 98 Group One winners out of Randwick since beginning her training career there in 1992.
Her legendary father Tommy Smith was also based at Randwick in a career that landed 282 Group One wins.
Waterhouse will only have a small team at the meeting but believes Polar Eclipse is a very smart juvenile and will prove hard to beat.
The two-year-old was narrowly beaten on Randwick’s Kensington track on debut by Golestan, who is also among nominations for the 1200m 2YO Open Handicap.
Polar Eclipse sat on the speed in the 1150m race on May 12 and kicked away on straightening before being run down over the concluding stages by the Peter Snowden-trained Golestan who produced a slashing final 200m burst to win.
Waterhouse said Polar Eclipse would be better for that experience on Saturday.
“He’s a very good horse in the making, I think he could end up being a top-liner,” Waterhouse said.
“He’s a lovely, big strong colt and has a beautiful attitude. His work has been excellent on the wet – he just ploughed through it.”
The trainer has the option of taking Polar Eclipse to Brisbane after Saturday’s race but said she would be guided by how he performs on the weekend.
“It would be lovely to get a couple of winners on Saturday,” Waterhouse said.
“I hope the AJC really put their best foot forward because it’s a very important day. To think we’ve had 150 years of racing on that track is a great effort.”
Five-year-old Rockwood also heads to Randwick for the 1400m Benchmark 95 Handicap after finishing midfield in his first-up run over 1200m on May 15.
Rockwood has never won in three second-up attempts but has been placed twice.
“He should run well, he doesn’t win that many times but he’s fit and he’s happy,” Waterhouse said.
“And that’s half the battle.”
Last-start winner Maling is the trainer’s only other nominated runner for Saturday’s meeting but the three-year-old has also accepted for Gosford on Thursday.
By Matthew Toogood