By Ray Hickson
It was a training feat to savour – Hush Writer’s first-up win at 2400m – but co-trainer Adrian Bott says backing it up in Saturday’s Listed $150,000 Winter Cup (2400m) is probably more important from a spring viewpoint.
The Japanese-bred ex-French stayer posted his first Australian win in the McKell Cup two weeks ago, his first start since last spring where he was Bott and Gai Waterhouse’s major Cups hopeful.
Whether it was through lack of respect for the stable’s ability to prepare the horse to win at a staying trip first-up or his mixed spring form, he was sent out $21 but is was little as $2.30 with TAB to repeat the dose this weekend.
“We probably couldn't take him straight to the spring on that win,’’ Bott said.
“It's another opportunity to get back to the races, teach him to settle in the run and build that confidence.
“We knew he had the class, it was good to see him put it together and win. The main reason he’s back is to continue getting that grounding to help him out for the spring.’’
The McKell Cup couldn’t have panned out any better for Hush Writer who was given a perfect trail behind the leaders by James Innes Jnr, hit the lead at the 400m and held off the chasers.
Hush Writer wins the McKell Cup at Rosehill on June 1
He’ll meet runner-up High Bridge 2kg worse at the weights, with Tim Clark in the saddle this time, in the Winter Cup but Bott said that’s countered by some natural improvement between runs.
“He was wound up for that and it was a strong run as well, there was nowhere to hide,’’ he said.
“He got all the favours in the race, a nice run throughout, but there were a lot of important factors we took out of it. He settled nicely and showed a turn of foot.
“We want him to produce a similar effort to give us confidence to push on to the spring.’’
Hush Writer is a $15 chance in TAB’s all-in market for the Group 1 Metropolitan (2400m) in October.
The Winter Cup will likely be the gelding’s last run for the preparation – another win would certainly cement that – but the Waterhouse/Bott yard is likely to be represented in the 3200m Stayers Cup later this month by Social Element.
The five-year-old has campaigned over hurdles in Melbourne this time in and was nominated for the Winter Cup but will trial over 1200m at Randwick on Friday.
Bott said the horse just needs to be kept up to the mark to head to the winter staying program’s culmination on June 29.
Meanwhile, two-year-old Minted ($5) steps up from an impressive midweek win to the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1100m) on Saturday with a reputation in the stable as a progressive young horse.
The form around Minted was confirmed on Wednesday when California Salto, who had chased him home last start, won easily.
“The improvement shown at Warwick Farm was impressive. I think he's going to be a nice horse for us,’’ Bott said.