Gai Waterhouse and training partner Adrian Bott will have a small but select Queensland winter team.
Opportunities to parlay autumn carnival success into the Brisbane winter will be limited for Tulloch Lodge this year but they still plan to have a presence, led by dual Guineas winner Dawn Passage.
Training partners Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott enjoyed a Sydney carnival to remember, the highlight their Golden Slipper win with exciting colt Farnan.
But with cuts to the traditional Queensland schedule and logistical challenges with interstate travel due to the coronavirus, Waterhouse and Bott will only take a small team north.
It is a situation most Sydney trainers find themselves in as they navigate the COVID-19 landscape.
“We will be selective with what we take up,” Bott said.
“It’s a bit tricky with the logistics and the program has changed, some of the big races you normally chase are not there and some of the lead ups are not there.
“We will take the right horses up there for the right races if it all falls into place.”
Dawn Passage will be their winter carnival spearhead after adding Saturday’s Inglis 3YO Guineas (1400m) at Rosehill to his Hawkesbury Guineas triumph.
The victory confirmed plans to run him in the Group One Stradbroke Handicap, run over the Guineas distance at Eagle Farm next month.
It also sent the three-year-old to the top of Stradbroke betting as an $8 equal favourite with The Goodwood winner Trekking and Brisbane-trained Vega One.
“When he is in such good form you have to capitalise on it,” Bott said.
“I feel 1400 metres is his optimum distance and as a lightweight in the Stradbroke he fits the profile well.”
Closer to home, Waterhouse and Bott will rely on a handful of up-and-coming horses to take them through the winter racing in Sydney.
Among them is the promising Mr Dependable who won his first two starts last preparation and was spelled after he failed on a heavy track in January.
The four-year-old finished runner-up to stablemate Statuesquely in a Randwick barrier trial on Friday and Bott expected Mr Dependable to continue his progress through the grades.
“He’s a really nice, progressive type and he had a pretty consistent record there,” Bott said.
“He put the writing on the wall with his first couple of runs and he’s had his second trial so he isn’t far off returning to racing.
“We will take him through the grades, there is no rush with a horse like him.”