Gai Has A Date On The Downs

Source: Herald Sun/Darren Tindale
Gai Waterhouse saddles up three runners in Toowoomba on Saturday. Source: Herald Sun/Darren Tindale

Leading Sydney trainer, Gai Waterhouse, will have three runners in the 'City of Flowers' on Saturday, including Pornichet in the Toowoomba Cup.

The son of Vesponse looks a class above his rivals, but will have to carry 60.5kg. Since arriving from Europe, the stallion has raced exclusively in Group events, including a last start fifth in the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap (1600m). The four-year-old has won five races overall and been placed three other times for $442,222 in prize money. Two of his victories have been in Australia. Top Queensland jockey Tim Bell has the ride.

Another interstate raider Wish Come True from the Peter Moody stable is an obvious danger. The five-year-old has been to Queensland before, finishing runner up to The Inventor in the Group 3 Tatts Cup (2400m) ten months ago. The best of the locals appears to be Rob Heathcote's Hopfgarten , who is coming off a recent second to Sir Moments in the Listed Tails Stakes (1630m). Sir Moments franked that form pushing Leebaz to a head in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) last Saturday. With an eye to the weather, the rain has hit Clifford Park and Pornichet, Wish Come True and Hopfgarten are all comfortable on wet tracks.

Waterhouse's other runners are Red Knot in the $100,000 Dalrello Stakes (1200m) and the widely-drawn Sky Limit in the Toowoomba Guineas (1625m). 

The time-honoured Weetwood Handicap (1200m) is the main feature. It is a Listed race worth $150,000, with the winner collecting $96k. A winner of his only two starts in Queensland this campaign, Allan Denham's Mount Nebo looks perfectly placed from the inside barrier with only 55kg. With the track likely to be cut up by Race 8, Mount Nebo has never missed the place in 12 goes on wet surfaces, with five of those victories!

Chris Bombolas - Tatts Senior Writer

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