The motivating factor behind racing Needs Further in Saturday’s Group Three Frank Packer Plate at Randwick is to boost his spring carnival credentials.
The lightly-raced colt has won three straight races this preparation, including the Group Three Carbine Club Stakes (1600m), and trainer Gai Waterhouse says it is important to chase more Group success before turning him out.
“He needs to get prize money up and be up and racing,” Waterhouse said.
“He’s spent all his life in the paddock. That’s what I said to (owner) Mr Cojuangco’s representative Andrew Baddock, unless you get up and racing you won’t have the prize money and you won’t have the experience to go to Melbourne in the spring.”
Needs Further finished third on debut in a 2YO handicap in January 2010 and then spent more than a year on the sidelines before returning with a six length win in a Kembla maiden at the end of February.
A midweek city win followed before he confirmed his talent with victory in the Carbine Club.
Needs Further is second favourite at $3.80 with TAB Sportsbet for the Frank Packer Plate (2000m) behind stablemate Fast Clip ($2.80).
Waterhouse said there wasn’t much between the pair in terms of ability but Fast Clip had more experience.
“Both are really exciting three-year-olds,” Waterhouse said.
“Fast Clip is more switched on at this point. As for ability, they are equal.”
Fast Clip defied a distance query to race away with the Group Two Tulloch Stakes (2000m) on April 2 and Waterhouse said she was unsure what the colt’s maximum distance was.
“No-one thought he would win that race the other day (over 2000m) and he toyed with them,” Waterhouse said.
“He’s a good horse in the making.”
Waterhouse’s chances of a Group One victory at this year’s three-week Randwick carnival rest with Saturday’s Sydney Cup (3200m) where the trainer has Once Were Wild and Older Than Time.
“They worked together the other day and there was nothing between them in their work, it was a struck match between them,” Waterhouse said.
“It’s going to be a hard race to win but both have the right credentials.”