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Cup start still in mix for colt

3 min read

Written by Paul Vettise

Just over two decades ago Gai Waterhouse went close to winning the G1 Melbourne Cup with a 3-year-old. She produced Nothin’ Leica Dane (Danehill {USA}) to finish runner-up behind Doriemus (NZ) (Norman Pentaquad {USA}) in 1995 after he had won the G1 VRC Derby three days previously.

Waterhouse, who now trains with Adrian Bott, is pondering returning to an old trick with the aptly-named Thinkin’ Big (High Chaparral {IRE}), who won Saturday’s G3 Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic and a race also claimed by Nothin’ Leica Dane.

“We’ll sleep on it and in a few days make up our minds.” - Gai Waterhouse.

“We’ll sleep on it and in a few days make up our minds,” she said. “We’ll see how he comes out of this.

“He’ll stay all day and on his dam’s side is Nothin’ Leica Dane, but this guy is better looking,” Waterhouse said.

Now a four-time winner, Thinkin’ Big ran third in the G1 Spring Champion S., on a wet Randwick track off the back of his G3 Gloaming S., success to book his passage to Melbourne.

He was ridden again by Tim Clark, who let the horse stride to the front before he started to quicken the tempo 500 metres from home.

Never in any doubt

They were clear halfway down the straight and Thinkin’ Big held a relentless gallop to distance his opposition.

“Winners are grinners and this is such a talented colt. He’s a beautiful horse with a turn of foot,” Waterhouse said.

Winners are grinners for Gai Waterhouse and connections

Clark said he was grateful for the stable’s loyalty and had a smooth ride to victory.

“Obviously, it’s great Gai stuck by me and put me on in Melbourne.” – Tim Clark.

“Obviously, it’s great Gai stuck by me and put me on in Melbourne. She could have easily got one of the jockeys that rides for here down here.

“He’s a lovely horse and easy to do anything with. He’s push button to ride and he handled Caulfield really well.

“I said to Gai and the owners before the race that attitude is one of his greatest attributes.”

Chapada (Bullet Train {GB}) raced on his own in fourth spot for much of the way and he got to the line well enough to stay on a Derby path while Sikorsky (Pierro), who chased the leader, boxed on to take third off Visao (High Chaparral {IRE}).