Leading Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse is preparing for one of her strongest assaults on the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
Racing manager for Waterhouse, Mark Webbey, says that AJC Australian Oaks winner Once Were Wild, AJC Australian Derby runner up Descarado and improving ex-Kiwi stayer Herculian Prince are all back in work with the target being the two Cups.
Once Were Wild only returned to Tulloch Lodge recently, having a decent break after her impressive three length victory in the AJC Australian Oaks.
â€œSheâ€™s doing well,â€ Webbey said. â€œWe have her trialling around August 6th, with her first run possibly in the Tramway Handicap (1400m) on September 4.â€
â€œThe mare appears to be an ideal Caulfield Cup horse and we are hopeful that she may be able to extend to the 3200m.â€
Descarado and Herculian Prince have been at the stables longer, and will start their campaigns earlier.
â€œBoth horses are now up to Â¾ pace,â€ Webbey said. â€œThey will have their first trials towards the end of July.â€
It is likely that they will be kept apart during their lead up races.
â€œDescarado is scheduled to have his initial start this preparation in the Warwick Stakes on August 21.â€
â€œHerculian Prince is pencilled in to run at Caulfield in the Liston Stakes on August 14 â€“ however, this may change if we decide to kick off in Sydney.â€
Despite Waterhouseâ€™s enormous success, she is yet to train a Caulfield or Melbourne Cup winner.
She has had numerous runners in the Caulfield Cup, her best result a 2nd with classy mare Aqua Dâ€™Amore in 2006, who led until the final few strides.
From twelve runners in the Melbourne Cup, she has managed two thirds with tough stayer Te Akau Nick in 1993 and three year old Nothinâ€™ Leica Dane in 1995.
As one of racingâ€™s most popular ambassadors, a Waterhouse victory on the first Tuesday of November would surely be widely celebrated.
Written by Andrew Hawkins