By Ray Hickson
In the space of about 75 minutes at Randwick on Saturday, Adrian Bott is confident he can unearth a spring Group 1 contender then give the boom on an unbeaten sprinter a decent shake.
That’s not a lot to ask, is it? But he’s adamant Rule The World is going to rise well above winter company and he’s banking on the hardened race fitness of Embracer to trouble the unbeaten Sir Elton.
Bott, who co-trains with Gai Waterhouse, expects Rule The World to confirm what he showed, leading all the way on a soft 7, on debut at Canterbury and point to the spring in the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1300m).
“He’s always shown he’s of that quality so it was good to see him back up our opinion of him with a professional performance on debut,’’ Bott said.
“I expect there to be improvement on that and we’d like to see him take that next step.
“I would think he will be better suited when he gets up to a mile, potentially further, so we’ll probably have him on that Spring Champion path.’’
Rule The World wins at Canterbury on June 19
That’s the same path former Waterhouse/Bott galloper Thinkin’ Big followed in 2018 – he won the corresponding 1100m Canterbury maiden then ran third at Randwick at this meeting last year but in a 1200m two-year-old event.
The now Hong Kong based gelding then won over 1500m at Rosehill at the end of July before taking out the Group 2 Gloaming Stakes and running third in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes.
“They are two types that probably needed more time earlier on in their careers but really came to hand late in the two-year-old season,’’ Bott said.
“Rule The World could be a real Guineas horse, we’ve kept a lot of options open in the spring.
“Obviously he’s only had one start and we’re learning more about him. He’s very straightforward to train and quite laid back, it’ll be good to test him on Saturday and see how he handles the class rise and pressure and give us an indication exactly what a spring path will look like.
“It’s going to be very heavy and that’s always a concern but he is fit and well, they’ve all got to get through it of course, and he has a bit of exposure winning on a soft at Canterbury.’’
Rule The World is vying for TAB favouritism at $3 while stablemate Embracer at $2.90 is considered the main danger to boom three-year-old Sir Elton in the Everest Carnival Handicap (1100m).
Bott elected to scratch Embracer from Canterbury midweek, where he was an odds-on favourite, to take up the challenge and said he does have the credentials to worry the favourite.
“Under testing conditions we have a very fit horse,’’ he said.
“He performed well on a soft track there at Canterbury, it’ll be a different track so we can only be hopeful but at least he has some appreciation for it.
“I was impressed with the way that he showed sustained speed, absorbed some pressure in that run and was able to really quicken. He’s still lightly raced, he needs to take that next step as well but I thought he deserved the chance.’’
Waterhouse and Bott have both Terminology and Echo Gem in the Winter Racing Handicap (1400m) to wrap up Randwick:
Terminology ($3.90): “We will run, in the back of our minds there’s a slight concern that she failed in the same conditions last start. But she was on a relatively quick back up from a first-up run and in turn off a good break. So I haven’t put the line through her. It’s hard to avoid these types of tracks so we’ll give her another chance.’’
Echo Gem ($8.50): “She’s enjoyed the conditions so far but they have been on good wet surfaces like Canterbury and Kensington. She was getting weighted out in the midweek fillies and mares races so she needs to take that step to this class to get that weight relief. She tries hard and gives it all, she’s very race fit and if she does handle the conditions she should run well.’’