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Gai Waterhouse will be hoping Pornichet can deliver her a belated birthday present in the Group Two Chelmsford Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.

The Randwick trainer, who celebrated her birthday with a visit to the midweek races at Canterbury, has no doubt Pornichet has trained on since he defeated all bar Royal Descent first-up in the Warwick Stakes.

The Doomben Cup winner has been pencilled in for an ambitious spring with the Cox Plate his main mission.

And Waterhouse saw enough merit in Pornichet’s fresh performance to confirm her carnival plans.

“I thought it was outstanding. He’s just training a treat. He’s a very good horse,” she said.

“Second-up won’t be a problem at all for him.”

A field of 16 and one emergency accepted for the Chelmsford, a race dominated by Chris Waller over the past three years and again set up for the premier trainer.

Waller has paid up for 11 horses including Royal Descent, Doncaster Mile winner Kermadec and his Sydney Cup quinella of Grand Marshal and Who Shot Thebarman.

All are on track to take their place.

“They’ve all got to start,” Waller said.

The Tramway Stakes has also attracted a full field headed by Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist who will be ridden by Christian Reith for the first time.

First Seal will make a belated start to her campaign in the race after a foot abscess ruled her out of the Warwick Stakes.

Trainer John Thompson is happy with the mare, and stablemate Hooked, but not so their barrier draws.

“I’ve upset somebody. They’ll jump from the two outside gates even when the emergencies come out,” Thompson said.

Epsom Handicap chance Rudy has a new rider but will follow his usual routine as he heads to Randwick to contest the Tramway.

It will be Rudy’s third trip to Sydney and after winning the Group Two Villiers Stakes in December and running fourth in the Doncaster Mile in April.

Rudy has been ridden by apprentice Luke Tarrant in previous Sydney campaigns but Kerrin McEvoy has been booked for the Tramway ride.

The five-year-old will be stabled at Randwick with Jim and Greg Lee.

“The Lees have been fabulous for us. Rudy loves it there and we will just follow our usual routine with him,” trainer Helen Page said.

 
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