Last-start Rosehill winner Imperial Aviator has been taken to Melbourne to run at Moonee Valley.
Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott like to aim high and are already planning for the next spring carnival with European import Imperial Aviator.
The last-start Rosehill winner is in Melbourne to run in a 2500m-handicap at Moonee Valley on Saturday as part of his learning curve.
Stephen Baster rode the gelding in a gallop at the track on Tuesday morning and will be aboard on Saturday.
Bott said sending Imperial Aviator to Sydney was two-pronged.
“He’s a horse we’re thinking of as a long-term prospect next spring so that’s part of the reason he’s down there now,” Bott said.
“There’s plenty of nice races for him up here but we wanted to give him that experience of travelling down to Melbourne and settling into that environment.
“What is also quite lucrative is the new prize money levels for these staying races with the standard handicap now being worth $120,000.”
Imperial Aviator has had three starts in Australia since coming from Europe where he was trained by Roger Charlton.
He was gelded after his his first Australian start at Randwick in June and Bott said the stayer had appreciated getting on firmer tracks this campaign.
“He produced a strong performance first-up over the 2000 (metres) and then won second up over the mile-and-a-half,” Bott said.
“He’s really an out-and-out stayer and he had plenty of work leading into those races and the form has been franked with Chris Waller’s horse (Vassal) winning the Christmas Cup last Saturday.”
Joining Imperial Aviator on the trip south is Aeecee Tong De who will line up in the VOBIS Gold Carat.
The filly also worked at Moonee Valley on Tuesday morning and will be ridden by Beau Mertens on Saturday.
“Last time in she was probably a little weak and lacked the strength to carry her speed through a race, but with a good break and being very patient with her she seems to have strengthened up and responded really well,” Bott said.
“She’s seems pretty sharp and has natural speed which should be suited around Moonee Valley.”
The Waterhouse and Bott combination, which was the most successful stable over Melbourne Cup week, will also be represented by Multitude (Zac Spain) in the benchmark 78 race over 2040m.No tags for this post.