An adjustment in tactics brought out the best in Cotehele last start and trainer John O’Shea said he would stick to that formula ahead of the gelding’s bid for successive wins in the Listed Civic Stakes.
The four-year-old had disappointed slightly in finishing just behind the placegetters at his first two runs from a spell after racing handy to the speed.
O’Shea instructed Tom Sherry to ride him more quietly at Rosehill last start and Cotehele responded, producing a devastating finishing burst to score.
“We will ride him a bit quieter again, a pair back from where we had been riding him,” O’Shea said.
“Tom Sherry stays with Cotehele, he’s got a great record on the horse.”
Sherry has partnered Cotehele four times for two wins and a placing.
He was in the saddle for the gelding’s recent barrier trial win at Randwick, a hitout designed to keep him up to the mark given he will go into Saturday’s 1400m event with a month between runs.
Stablemate Waihaha Falls finished third in Cotehele’s trial and will also line up in the Civic Stakes with O’Shea hoping the showers forecast for later this week arrive.
While he performs in all types of going, Waihaha Fall’s most dominant victory came on a heavy track last winter and he has been Group placed behind Godolphin’s Vilana in similar conditions.
Waihaha Falls has been freshened since finishing midfield behind Opal Ridge in the Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) at Scone last month.
“I would prefer a wet track for him,” O’Shea said.
“But both horses are in great order.”
O’Shea’s pair head early betting markets despite coming up with wide draws.
Waihaha Falls opened a $5 favourite on Wednesday after drawing barrier 16 in the field of 14 plus four emergencies, while Cotehele is on the next of betting at $6.50 and has the outside gate.
– RAS NewsWire