Waterhouse readies big team for Gold Coast riches
Contender … Tommy Berry on Certitude after winning at Rosehill last month. Photo: Mick Tsikas
GAI WATERHOUSE has returned from her summer holiday and set her sights on the Magic Millions carnival where she will be a big player on and off the track.
Saturday provides the ideal lead-up to the Magic Millions Classic on January 12 and two-year-olds' races in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney will provide a clearer picture of the contenders for the $2 million feature.
Waterhouse could have up to seven runners at the Gold Coast. Certitude, which was fourth in the Wyong Magic Millions to Assail, and Rockford, third at Gosford on Thursday, have completed their preparations.
She will have two fillies chasing black type in Saturday's BJ McLachlan Stakes at Doomben, Sweet Idea and Northern Glory, but it is the debut of Redoute's Choice colt Aussies Love Sport at Canterbury that will carry the most interest.
He has not won either of his barrier trials but has been backed from $151 to $15 in pre-post Magic Millions Classic betting.
"He is clearly our worst way [result] and takes out more than $250,000," TAB Sportsbet's Glenn Munsie said. "They have just chipped away at it and the money has not stopped."
Waterhouse was not surprised by the flow of money for the colt. "There should be, he is a very good horse," she said. "He has to win on Saturday for us to keep going to the Magic Millions. If he doesn't, we will keep him for the Golden Slipper."
Waterhouse has won four Magic Millions Classics, including a one-two in the race last year with Driefontein and No Looking Back.
Saturday will be a real test of Aussies Love Sport's credentials as he debuts over 1200 metres against some experienced rivals, including Champagne Cath, a winner in fast time on debut at Rosehill, Madame Fly and Dothraki, which was heavily backed in the Wyong Magic Millions before running fifth.
"I'd probably like it better if it was over 1000 or 1100 metres on Saturday but that's not to be,'' Waterhouse said. ''He is a very talented colt. He's a big, strong, good style of a horse. He could easily be a Golden Slipper horse.''
Meanwhile in Brisbane, Sweet Idea and Northern Glory will face Queensland's best juveniles in Sir Luminar and Missy Longstocking. Sweet Idea won on debut before being runner-up to Criterion as an odds-on favourite at Rosehill in November, while Northern Glory won her only start, at a Kembla Grange midweek metropolitan meeting.
"They are two nice fillies and it fits better with their preparation to be up there," Waterhouse said. "They have both drawn good gates and I expect them to be competitive."
Meanwhile, Rick Hore-Lacy will make a decision about where Clevadude will head after he runs at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
A son of Bel Esprit, Clevadude was promoted to Magic Millions favourite after his debut win at Cranbourne two weeks ago, but has since been usurped by Assail.
''His win at Cranbourne was everything I hoped for and he's gone along nicely since,'' Hore-Lacy said. ''I said at the time that he'd have to win at Moonee Valley for him to go to the Magic Millions race, and that's still the case.''
Waterhouse has visited several studs to inspect the yearlings on offer at the Gold Coast and will once again be a leading buyer. "It will be a good sale and there is always a bit of value up there," she said.
Waterhouse will take Driefontein north for the $1 million Guineas for three-year-olds, despite her shock defeat at Wyong. "She has come through that run fine and she will be going up there," she said.
Driefontein could become the first horse to complete the Classic-Guineas double and Waterhouse's No Looking Back, which lost this year's Magic Millions Classic on protest, is also nominated. She will return in the Carrington Stakes at Rosehill on New Year's Day.