Gai Waterhouse is toying with racing Ecuador on a rare seven-day back-up after his second in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup.
The eight-year-old has had his runs spaced as he races in the twilight of his career but Waterhouse and training partner Adrian Bott are considering winding the clock back to 2016.
Ecuador managed a week between races with ease that autumn when he regrouped from a sixth in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) to win the Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup (2000m) the following weekend at Rosehill.
The gelding was found a little wanting over the latter stages of the Hawkesbury Gold Cup on Saturday but hung on to run second to Kingsguard, beaten three-quarters of a length.
“It was a good effort. It probably just showed he’s looking for a little further now and he’s probably lost a little bit of dash,” Bott said.
“He bowled around nicely and he stuck on very well, but as an older horse now he probably just lacks that little bit of turn of foot or that sprint over the shorter distances to sort of really put the race away.”
Ecuador is among 11 nominations for Saturday’s Lord Mayor’s Cup and Bott says the stable will accept on Wednesday and then make a final decision.
“He’s better suited to stepping up in trip at some point, whether it’s this weekend or we look to Queensland,” Bott said.
While Waterhouse and Bott weigh up their options, Joe Pride will run stable favourite Destiny’s Kiss after he ran 10th of 11 in the Hawkesbury Cup, less than five lengths behind Kingsguard.
Ecuador and Destiny’s Kiss are the equal 61kg topweights for the Rosehill feature.
Bott said Ecuador’s stablemate Sedanzer’s first-up ninth in the Group Three Godolphin Crown (1300m) at Hawkesbury did not rule out a Queensland campaign.
“She was a little bit plain first-up unfortunately but we’ll be forgiving,” he said.
“First-up last campaign she won, but she wasn’t in a field with the depth that we saw on Saturday.
“She’ll go to Scone as planned for the Dark Jewel and all going well she’ll head up to Queensland.”