Barclay Thrilled with Cup Hopeful

By Jonny Turner

Kirstin Barclay is confident Tommy Waterhouse can take on a new challenge in Tuesday’s Roxburgh Cup.

The four-year-old heads into the 2700m feature without having had a standing start at the races.

While his starting manners are a mystery, what the pacer has proven is that he’s in the form of his career.

Freshened after his big win in the South Of The Waitaki race on Show Day at Addington, Tommy Waterhouse returned with a big second at Gore last week when sitting parked outside rising star Duke Of Cornwall and digging in impressively in the straight.

Clearly the pacer is a big Roxburgh Cup hope if he can step away and his trainer-driver thinks he can.

“We have trialled him twice from a stand and he has been very well behaved for a horse that is high-strung behind the gate,” Barclay said.

“He has actually been really good and he is a great pacer, so I think he will step away.”

His big last start effort hasn’t knocked Tommy Waterhouse, which has the four-year-old ready to run a big race from his 10m handicap on Tuesday.

“He has worked on really well, I thought running on the grass might have decked him a little bit – probably a little bit too well.”

“Provided I can step him I think he is a pretty good chance.”

“He is a lovely front runner, he is off 10m but there’s not too many in front of us.”

Barclay starts Benji in race 4 on the back of a nice fourth at Winton.

From barrier 2 the pacer looks a big winning hope in just his second start.

“It was a much-improved run at Winton, he just hadn’t raced as well as he’d trialled up.”

“He has worked on really well since and I think he is definitely on the improve.”

Barclay starts Mighthavtime who takes on a strong field in Tuesday’s Southland Oaks heat, but following a nice debut fourth she’s on song to run another tidy race.

“I’m thrilled with her, she is a filly that has struggled with a tie-up issue but I think we are on top of that.”

“Her work since that race has been really good.”

“She is racing out of her grade, against the up to one-win horses, but it gave her the chance to get a nice draw.”

Wattlebank Star will be out to repeat her win at last year’s Roxburgh Cup meeting in race 11.

The mare performed well below par in her last outing at Winton.

Barclay later reported to stewards her pacer had been found to be suffering from tie-up.

The trainer-driver is hopeful treatment for the issue has Wattlebank Star ready to bounce back to form.

“I am pretty happy with her.”

Wattlebank Star must overcome barrier 7, the outside of the front line.

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