By Brad Gray
The Jolly Roger flag will be hoist out the front of Tulloch Lodge as a warning shot to English’s rivals ahead of her Everest bid on Saturday at Royal Randwick.
Gai Waterhouse has a tradition of flying the skull and crossbones out the front of her Randwick stable when she is ‘confident of a good result’ in a big race.
Co-trainer Adrian Bott was also queried as to whether the Newhaven Park flag or Tabcorp flag would be fluttering away come Sunday morning, should English take out the $10m TAB Everest.
“We might have to put them both up!” Bott said.
“I know on Saturday morning we’ll have the Jolly Roger up going into battle. It’d be nice to have either flag up come Sunday morning though.
“There is a great buzz around the stable and a great buzz around the industry in general. It’s been a really positive move introducing The Everest and I’ve only heard positive feedback. We’re just glad to be a part of it and that we have a live chance.”
English has shown great versatility throughout her career but it’s worth noting that in all five of her career wins she has settled 7th, 5th, 10th, 7th and 8th at the 800m mark.
“We know her racing pattern now and that won’t change a huge amount,” Bott said.
“When she is allowed to switch off and relax she has got that brilliant turn of foot so that’s her real asset – her acceleration. If she can conserve energy, she is more brilliant at the finish.
“The tactics are always difficult though. The further back you get the more luck in running you need. You need the pace to be on as well so a lot of things need to go in your favour but we saw first up she was a little bit exposed, and there was a certain element of fitness too, but she looks a lot more brilliant when she gets a kinder run.”
The Waterhouse and Bott stable have taken full advantage of Canterbury being used as a training facility, regularly galloping their horses when the course proper is made available.
“It’s just something different for her to get her out of her comfort zone and it’s a very good surface to start with. It keeps her switched on throughout her preparations and it has been working well for her so we kept the routine up,” explained Bott.
“We brought her to Canterbury to give her a good strong hit out. We put the blinkers on (Monday) morning as being out there by herself we just wanted to make sure she was fully focused and to switch her on ahead of Saturday.
“She probably just peaked on her run the last 50m (in the Premiere Stakes) so there was certainly improvement to come out of that and I think we’ve seen that in between races.”