Gai Waterhouse declared the Epsom Handicap and Caulfield Cup legitimate spring targets for Our Desert Warrior after the well-related galloper won at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.
But just how Waterhouse goes about trying to secure a start in at least one of those races remains to be seen.
“I think he is an Epsom Handicap horse … I’ve just got to get him into it,” Waterhouse said after Our Desert Warrior rallied to win the IBIS Styles Draw-Moon Festival Handicap (1600m).
“Hopefully he can get to the Epsom and after that I would like to take him down (to Melbourne) for the Caulfield Cup.”
Our Desert Warrior is a full-brother to Desert War, a Waterhouse weight-for-age warrior who posted his first Group One win in the 2004 Epsom before going on to bank more than $3 million during his racing career.
The four-year-old is also a half-brother to the Rosehill Guineas winner Laser Hawk.
“I loved this horse from day one when I saw him at Gooree and straight away I knew I wanted to train him,” Waterhouse said.
Our Desert Warrior contested last year’s Victoria Derby but a bone chip operation kept him out of the autumn.
While Our Desert Warrior had to dig deep to beat a modest field, jockey Tommy Berry insists there was much more merit in the win than there looked to the eye.
“I wouldn’t worry about what he beat or by how far he beat them because he won with a fair bit left,” Berry said.