Leading Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse is back for a tilt at back-to-back victories in Saturday’s $2.5 million Caulfield Cup, but doesn’t rate Tullamore in the same league as reigning hero Descarado.
Descarado started off his spring a bit late due to a setback but showed he was on target for next week’s $3 million Cox Plate at Moonee Valley with an all-the-way win in the Caulfield Stakes last Saturday.
Tullamore, who races in similar interests to Descarado, earned his shot at the Cup with his win in the Group Two Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm during the winter.
He has been placed in one of three lead-up runs in Sydney, running third in the Group Two Hill Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill before finishing midfield when eighth in The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick.
Waterhouse described that race as a farce as there was a lot of interference and she believes the Savabeel five-year-old will run a good race on Saturday.
“He’s as bright as a button and I’m really happy with him,” Waterhouse said at her Flemington stables on Friday.
“He’s peaking at the right time, he’s lightly weighted and it’s a winnable affair.
“Descarado is more brilliant. He ran second in the AJC Australian Derby to the best horse we had at the time (Shoot Out). Tullamore couldn’t have done that.
“He was a bit dead-headed, a bit dumb, but the penny has dropped, he can stay, he races on the speed and he’s lightly weighted.
Descarado, sent out at $17 and ridden by Chris Munce, went forward from barrier 15 last year and kept going to hold out Harris Tweed and Monaco Consul.
Tullamore, to be ridden by the in-form Craig Newitt, drew barrier 15 but if all the emergencies are scratched will jump from 11.
“The barrier is not a worry,” Waterhouse said.
“If he leads he leads, I think he’ll be right on the speed.
Tullamore is at $17 with TAB Sportsbet for the race Waterhouse’s legendary father Tommy Smith won four times with Redcraze (1956), Tulloch (1957), Taksan (1978) and Mighty Kingdom (1979).