Gai Waterhouse’s Melbourne Cup stocks could easily skyrocket on the back of results in two states on Saturday.
Waterhouse will saddle up no-nonsense stayer Tullamore in the Caulfield Cup and she will be counting on positive runs from three horses at Randwick to add weight to her 2011 Melbourne Cup challenge.
Herculian Prince, Older Than Time and Reuben Percival are Tulloch Lodge’s Melbourne Cup entries nominated for the City Tattersalls Club Cup.
They will be joined in the Listed race by Saturday’s Rosehill winner Teardrop Rock.
Waterhouse, who struck Group One paydirt for the first time this season with Descarado in the Caulfield Stakes, has five horses left in the Melbourne Cup after the first declarations stage.
“Saturday’s race at Randwick will tell us a lot more about how many runners we could end up having in the Melbourne Cup,” the trainer’s racing manager Bruce Slade said.
“Take a horse like Reuben Percival.
“The 2800-metre race at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day looks a nice race for him but if he happened to come out and win on Saturday we might give him his chance in The Lexus.”
Waterhouse’s quartet will be her only runners at Randwick for a meeting in which the staying feature will be supported by three more stakes races – the Lightning Handicap, the Brian Crowley Stakes and The Nivison.
The City Tattersalls Cup has a reputation for being a lightweight’s path into the Melbourne Cup because it’s a race Bart Cummings has often targeted to improve a progressive stayer’s chances of getting a start in Australia’s richest race.
It almost produced the ultimate form reference last year when Maluckyday graduated from his 4-1/4 length victory over the Waterhouse-trained Kontiki Park to win The Lexus before backing up to finish second to Americain in the Melbourne Cup.
There are 12 Melbourne Cup entries among the 23 City Tattersalls Cup nominations, including the Chris Waller-trained King Gladiator.
King Gladiator came from a long way back to finish second to Teardrop Drop over 1900m last Saturday.
Waller’s racing manager Liam Prior said a decision on a Tatts Cup start for the four-year-old would not be made until close to acceptance time.
“We’ll just see how he comes through Saturdays’s run,” he said.
Victorian trainer David Hayes has nominated last year’s Curragh Cup winner Tactic as well as recent Warwick Farm winner Reprisal.
Other entries include the Cummings-trained Kim Devine and Bid Spotter, the Graeme Rogerson stayer who won the race in 2009.