By Ray Hickson
New owners, new colours, new beginning.
Talented four-year-old Siege Of Quebec is also bringing a different attitude into his racing, according to co-trainer Adrian Bott, as he kicks off a potential Epsom campaign at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
“He seems a lot more switched on and is really enjoying his work,’’ Bott said.
“That’s what we are seeing from him at home and I think we’ve seen that in his trials as well.’’
Siege Of Quebec’s spring credentials will receive a good workout as he takes on proven Group 1 performer Le Romain in the Group 3 $150,000 Nexon Show County Quality (1200m) with an 8kg weight advantage.
TAB sees it as a race in two also with the entire a $2.90 second favourite behind Le Romain ($2.25).
“This profiles like a really nice race for him,’’ Bott said.
“We’ve always thought he was a horse with plenty of potential, he wasn’t far off the best three-year-olds last season.
“Right from his debut we put quite a strong rap on the horse, he’s gone close to fulfilling those expectations and maybe now he can capitalise on that early promise.
“He has a bit of maturity now, he’s grown up and switched on. I think he wants it this campaign.’’
Siege Of Quebec downs Home Of The Brave in a Randwick trial on July 30
Last seen running fifth in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas, behind Kementari, Siege Of Quebec has scored narrow but strong wins in two barrier trials in July and while drawn the outside Bott said he can offset that quickly.
He was a $1.2 million yearling and now races in the colours of Aquis Farm after being sold late last season.
“Being first-up he’ll have an element of freshness in him and hopefully we will see that tactical speed to put himself in the race,’’ he said.
“Hopefully he can develop into a weight-for-age horse but he’s not that exposed yet so there’s no need to rush into those races yet.
“We’d love to get a Group 1 for him and I think we’d look to target some Group 1 handicaps up to the mile.’’
Stablemate Cabeza De Vaca is also on an Epsom path and he has a much tougher task first-up in the Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m).
Bott said he’d expect the seven-year-old to show his customary speed and be among the early leaders from an inside gate.
“It’s an ideal starting point. He’s not under the perfect conditions but he’s a horse with upside who will improve further into his preparation,’’ Bott said.
Adrian Bott’s comments on the Gai Waterhouse stable’s two three-year-olds:
Ready To Prophet (Race 4, $15): “She’s an improver, she won well last time out and she has come on again. Her advantage is she is taking in some trace fitness and going in at the top of her game.’’
Master Ash (Race 5, $8.50): “He’s a really progressive type, who keeps stepping up each time. I thought he ran into a handy one last start and he’s done particularly well in between. I think he’s grown up mentally and is suited by the conditions of the race.’’
Meanwhile, Bott said Everest runner English will have a “quiet first trial’’ at Rosehill on Monday, as she kicks off her campaign for the $13 million feature, against current favourite Trapeze Artist and defending champ Redzel in the 1000m trial.