Securing an impressive race win in the Listed Dulcify Quality (1600m) at Randwick last weekend, trainer Gai Waterhouse has confirmed classy three-year-old Hampton Court will back-up in this weekend’s featured Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m).
Jumping from the gates well in the Dulcify Quality, renowned Hong Kong-based rider Joao Moreira settled Hampton Court in prime position on the heels of the race’s early leaders, finding a clear racing line upon reaching the final straight and extending to hit the line a length in the clear of closest rival Duccio.
Understandably thrilled with the Redoute’s Choice colt’s performance last weekend, stable foreman for Waterhouse Mark Newnham told AAP he is confident the tracks conditions at Randwick will again play into the strengths of Hampton Court this weekend, but would have liked to have retained the services of Moreira for his maiden tilt at the highest level of Australian racing.
“He’s a decent horse. His only disappointing run has been on heavy ground in his first prep,” Newnham said.
“If Joao wasn’t serving a suspension there was every chance he would have been riding Hampton Court on Saturday.
“I spoke to him about it straight after the race and he said he would have liked to have ridden him.”
Claiming two wins and as many minor places from just eight competitive race starts so far, Hampton Court finished second to classy three-year-old Brazen Beau in the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1100m) on debut on February 5th, but was disappointing when failing to beat a single runner home in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) on March 1st.
Securing a maiden race win in the Tal Beaumont 2.y.o Handicap (1400m) on March 19th, the colt out of Roses ‘n’ Wine returned to the paddock after again fading late to finish tenth in the Group 3 The Schweppervescence (1400m) on April 5th.
Steadily building to the task this time in, Hampton Court finished eighth in the Group 3 San Domenico Open (1100m), third in the TAB Early Quaddie 3.Y.O (1400m) and fourth in the Group 3 Newcastle Spring Stakes (1600m) prior to his Dulcify Quality triumph.
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