Gai Waterhouse will have her first Central Queensland runner in the Rockhampton Cup

Racing’s first lady has won races in some far flung places but Queensland’s beef capital is not on that list, however she says that is set to change.

Gai Waterhouse has a glittering resume that boasts 145 Group 1s including Melbourne Cups and Cox Plates, but it is the Rockhampton Cup she is focused on this Saturday.

Regal Stage will be her first runner in the Central Queensland town with Waterhouse saying the tough-as-nails gelding improves away from home.

“He is a horse that, somehow, whatever cup race we take him to he is very effective in,” Waterhouse said.

“But if we run him in a benchmark race at Randwick or Rosehill, he doesn’t go – it is very funny.

“He is at home there, he might do the whole cups circuit up there, you might see him up at Cape York if he continues his form.”

Having spent the last two weeks with Brisbane trainer Chris Munce, Waterhouse said Regal Stage has responded well to the Sunshine State’s weather and is relishing any challenge thrown at him.

Regal Stage will contest the Rockhampton Cup on Saturday.Source:Supplied

“He does seem to lift a level when he is in these races as opposed to racing at home,” she said.

“He is a very nice individual that has been with Chris Munce for 2½ weeks now so he has had plenty of time to get used to the beautiful Queensland weather.

“He has been working the place down and he is most capable of taking out a race like this.”

With $150,000 on the line, Queensland’s northern cups are set to be hotly contested in Mackay, Townsville and Cairns.

Even after drawing barrier 11, Waterhouse said Rockhampton’s famous long straight will suit Regal Stage.

“I don’t know much about the track. I know it will be a good, fast surface which will suit him down to the ground – I hate wet tracks and rain-affected tracks because it creates fast lanes and doesn’t give every horse a chance,” she said.

Jockey Matthew McGillivray has been booked with Waterhouse saying it is his first ride for the stable.

After NSW’ Covid-19 outbreak ended any hopes of being in Rockhampton, Waterhouse said she will be back next year.

Originally published asWaterhouse sends first runner to Rockhampton

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