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Yulalona set to go one better in this year's cup

THE stablemate menace, with Gai Waterhouse figuring prominently in the Australia Day Cup, promises to add heat to the Warwick Farm program.

With Tullamore, Reuben Percival, Travolta and Power Broker engaged, the trainer should be able to control the pace of the 2400-metre staying test.

Apart from the feature event, the multiple-runners situation shrouds three other races.

"Reuben Percival looks the best of them," son Tom Waterhouse said of the most confronting conundrum. "Was terrific at Gosford and expecting improvement here. Gets out to his best trip and if he can slot in from barrier 14 will take a stack of beating."

Perhaps the "if" is considerable, but with a frontrunner like Travolta, the field could well be strung out, enabling Reuben Percival to get across.

Mark Newnham, track rider and often mouthpiece for Waterhouse, gave an insight about the Tulloch Lodge representatives to AAP. Power Broker scored at Kembla Grange on Wednesday and Newnham said: "It was a good strong win and Saturday will probably give us some idea where he is this preparation.''


Travolta, the most promising of the four, prompted Newnham to say: "Horses like Tullamore and Reuben really struggled in their first preparation or two class-wise, but he's been able to do it in his first prep."

Tullamore, with limited racing, has class to his credit if not form. Newnham said he has "had the miles in his work.

''He seems perfectly fine, mentally fine and physically. We'll find out if the will is still there."

Reuben Percival was the best fancied yesterday around $5 and Newnham said: "He came off a short break after his Melbourne campaign and ran terrific in the Gosford Cup. Even last time in work he went from the mile to the 2400 [metres] of The Metropolitan and ran third, so he's one of those horses, whatever you throw at him he does his best.''

Peter Snowden has two, Yulalona and Angelus, against the Waterhouse team. Yulalona did well in the Gosford Cup (2100 metres) last start, which promises to be a worthwhile pointer. Yulalona was 3.1 lengths fifth with Reuben Percival, Travolta and Winning Glory in front of him, but the gelding was having only his second start after a spell thus had scope for improvement. Obviously the extra distance will suit and the gelding was second in the corresponding race last year to Wazn, trained by Chris Waller who has only one representative today, Lucripetous, up in class but a chance on promises grounds.

Verdict: Yulalona ($8).


Waller accepted with Madam Nash, Titbit and Caesar's Princess in the third. Madam Nash and Caesar's Princess go fast early but surely won't run each other breathless. At her past two starts, Caesar's Princess has beaten home shorter priced stablemates. Shamardani produced a solid third in tougher grade last start and will be suited by a strong tempo, while Robert Price, from Nowra, has a promising New Zealander, She's Cruising, rising in grade. Price also has a second string, Blurred Vision.

Verdict: Shamardani ($8.50).


Relaxed And Happy, which hardly lives up to his name, and the erratic filly Silk Pins present the Waller riddle in the fourth. Both have above average ability but Relaxed And Happy went berserk in the gates before failing when when favourite last start and will use a barrier blanket for a comfort zone on Saturday. Silk Pins raced wide to the centre of the track and Waller will attempt to rectify this with a stronger rider, James McDonald. However, they face two other exceptionally talented youngsters, Knoydart and That's A Good Idea. Knoydart demoralised weak opposition like a budding top-liner, while That's A Good Idea produced a first 800 metres that usually leaves a frontrunner with the staggers but kicked on to score. Waterhouse has two, Jordan and Almighty Charge but they would have to improve significantly.

Verdict: Knoydart ($2).


Guy Walter has three - Cannery Row, Matignon and Servante - against the Waller pair of Writteninthestars and Kristy Lee, in the fifth. Writteninthestars has won her past two, while Kristy Lee scored in a recent Canterbury maiden and Mark Cruickshank (Unibet) said: "The more I look at her last start the keener I get. She really savaged the line. This race lacks quality and I think the $6 is value.'' Matignon, with Hugh Bowman up, is fancied. Matignon was fifth last start and is the stewards' tip. ''Badlly held up and not be tested in the straight."

Verdict: Martignon ($4).