Running on to finish a credible fourth in the featured Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 13th, trainer Gai Waterhouse has revealed she is thrilled with the continually building form of Group 1 winner Almalad ahead of Friday’s Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley.
Securing a perfect record of three wins from as many starts leading into the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, Almalad was disappointing when beating a single runner home in the Group 3 Run To The Rose (1200m) first-up on August 30th, but returned to the fore when stepping up in distance for the Golden Rose.
Included in nominations for both the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and Cox Plate (2040m) beyond Friday’s Group 2, the Waterhouse said she was pleased with a strong piece of work produced by the Al Maher gelding over 1200m on Monday morning, and sees no reason why he cannot progress into a serious October contender.
“It depends how he goes in the Guineas but if he runs how I hope he will on Friday night and in the Guineas I think he should be right in the Cox Plate,” Waterhouse told Racing Victoria.
“This is a class horse, I’ve had a lot of success with his sire Al Maher, I trained Al Maher to win a Group 1 and it’s lovely to have his progeny being represented in the stable.
“Steven Arnold said he had a bit of a look around and was a bit new but he said he had a fabulous stretching action and he couldn’t have been more impressed with how the gelding felt.”
Charging home to win the Nuturf Plate (1000m) in his racing debut on December 27th, Almalad returned to the track in exceptional form this year; taking out the TAB Early Quaddie Plate (1200m) by close to four lengths first-up on May 24th before breaking through for a maiden victory at the highest level of Australian racing in the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) on June 7th.
A final field and barrier draw for the 2014 Stutt Stakes is due to be released on Wednesday morning.
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