Stablemates to seal Brisbane trips

Cambridge trainer Tony Pike isn’t concerned about the wide draw facing Waterford at Te Rapa on Saturday in her dress rehearsal for a Queensland campaign.

Waterford has drawn 18, two from the outside, among the 20 acceptors for the $70,000 Gr.3 Windsor Park Stud Breeders’ Stakes, in which she will be ridden by Leith Innes.

“If all the ballots don’t make the field she’ll end up jumping from 12 and maybe at that stage of the day it will be the best place to be,” said Pike. “The track is a slow seven at the moment and if there’s more rain it could be cutting out a bit by the fifth race.”

Waterford has had one start since her close second in the Gr.1 NZ Bloodstock 1000 Guineas at Riccarton last November and she produced a very pleasing effort, finishing second to Neo over 1400 metres at Te Aroha on April 6.

“I was rapt in the run,” said Pike. “The track just tied her up. I was very worried before the race because it had been downgraded three times and she ended up travelling a bit too good. She was just too fresh to cope with that heavy ground and her fitness gave out the last bit.”

Pike says Waterford has trained on well since Te Aroha and he is looking forward to getting to Brisbane with her.

Waterford is booked to be flown to Brisbane on May 9 and will make her Australian debut in the Gr.3 $A125,000 Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben nine days later. Her main mission will be the Gr.2 $A350,000 Queensland Guineas (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 8.

“The Queensland Oaks was going to be her main aim, but we’ve run out of time to get her ready for it,” said Pike. “Anyway I don’t know whether she’d stay the distance. It would really stretch her.”

Stablemate Carrick will also be using the Cambridge Jockey Club’s meeting on Saturday as a stepping stone to Brisbane.

Like Waterford, Carrick unleashed an eyecatching run at the Te Aroha meeting earlier this month. He finished third behind Maximum Height and looked a treat going into the race.

“He’s coming up really well and though he is still lacking a bit of fitness, he’ll be very competitive on Saturday,” said Pike.

All going well, Carrick will be on the same Brisbane flight as Waterford, but he will start his Queensland campaign off sooner. Two days after getting off the plane he will run in the Chairman’s Handicap then head towards some of the Cups races.