Gai Waterhouse hopes to break her Group 1 drought in Queensland with English in the Doomben 10,000 on Saturday. Picture: AAP
Gai Waterhouse hopes to break her Group 1 drought in Queensland with English in the Doomben 10,000 on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Waterhouse hoping Clark can spark English

GAI Waterhouse hopes having man of the moment Tim Clark on side will help in her bid to break a three-year Group 1 drought in Queensland with $3 million earner English in Saturday's Doomben 10,000.

Clark produced a gem on Shoals from a wide barrier at Morphettville last week and has ridden another four winners since.

"He's riding like a man possessed," said Waterhouse, whose last Queensland Group 1 winner was Pornichet in the 2015 Doomben Cup.

Saturday marks English's first start in Queensland, ­despite racing at the top level for the past four seasons. She was tuned up for the 10,000 when given a good sound-out to beat Saturday's rivals Redzel and Spieth in a recent Randwick trial.

"Her trials always look good. She's a class mare and I couldn't be happier with her," Waterhouse said. "She has terrific form around her and is in a very happy state of mind."

The champion trainer said whether English races on into her sixth year was a decision for her owners, the Kelly family of Newhaven Park.

"She's a mare that could easily run another campaign," she said. "She's very healthy, touch wood, without any issues. As horses get older, often they are plagued by one thing or another, but she's very good."

Waterhouse and training partner Adrian Bott also have longshot Joyfilly Ours in the Doomben Roses.

"She has run a place in a Group 1 race and she could easily turn her form around," she said.

Waterhouse believes Runaway is a great chance of winning Saturday's South Australian Derby, but she baulked at booking him for a Queensland trip, taking a swipe at officials for the reduced distances of the Classics this year.

"It's quite a shame they've shortened the Derby and Oaks in Queensland. It's no longer a Classic race," she said. "Eagle Farm being out is only temporary. I think they do themselves a disservice.

"Everyone wants a filly that can win the Oaks; everyone wants a horse that can run in the Melbourne Cup, but all these shorter distance races, they're not helping. The Brisbane Cup was a wonderful race and I think they have been bastardised (by being shortened).

Runaway led all the way to win the VRC St Leger (2800m) last start and has continued to thrive. "He's a horse going places," Waterhouse said.

 

English could be the surprise packet in the Doomben 10,000. Picture: Getty Images
English could be the surprise packet in the Doomben 10,000. Picture: Getty Images

 

Meantime, last year's carnival discovery Order Again takes his first steps towards what trainer Brian Smith hopes will be an interstate campaign when he resumes in the Benchmark 85 (1350m) at Doomben.

Order Again has not raced since winning last year's Grand Prix at Eagle Farm, after which he was withdrawn from the Queensland Derby suffering from fluid in his front joints.

"We had him back over the summer and trialled him, but he just hated the heat, so we turned him out again," Smith said. "This run will tell us where he's heading, but there's a lot of nice mile races over the carnival that will be suitable.

"Long term, I'd love to go down and have a crack at the Newcastle Cup with him.

"Looking back, there was nothing seriously wrong, but that Grand Prix run just gutted him. That was the last day at Eagle Farm and there wasn't many horses that won that day that raced well after that."

 

Impending will spearhead a strong Godolphin team at Doomben on Saturday. Picture: AAP
Impending will spearhead a strong Godolphin team at Doomben on Saturday. Picture: AAP

 

Clearly the stable has a big opinion of Dynamited, who was second in a recent trial, having not raced since his debut win last November.

"(Dynamited) has come back looking incredible and should enjoy the step up to Group company here," Cummings said. "As a promising young horse he gets the opportunity this preparation to prove himself above average and he certainly appears to have the scope to go further."

Three-year-olds Astoria (Rough Habit Plate) and Banished (Roses) are coming off last start flops, but the trainer is tipping vastly improved performances on Saturday.

Cummings is in his first full season at Godolphin and prepared 190 winners (four at Group 1 level) for earnings of just over $13 million and of the 11 trainers in the country to have had more than 500 runners, only Ben Currie (22.7 per cent) has a better strike rate than his 20.4 per cent.

At Scone, Osborne Bulls is on trial for a tilt at next month's Stradbroke when he tackles stakes grade for the first time in the Luskin Star Stakes, the same race Clearly Innocent won before claiming the Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup in Brisbane.

"This race should set up nicely for him, and while he can get back, he should have the entire straight to wind up,'' the trainer said. "He'd add more to his reputation if he can show himself in a good light against horses of this calibre."