Blake Shinn and Gai Waterhouse after joining forces to win the opener. Picture: Simon Bullard/AAP
Blake Shinn and Gai Waterhouse after joining forces to win the opener. Picture: Simon Bullard/AAP

Waterhouse Thinkin’ Big with colt

GAI Waterhouse is convinced Thinkin' Big will be a three-year-old classic contender during the spring carnivals after his impressive all-the-way win at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

"Thinkin' Big is very promising and will stay all day,'' the trainer said.

"The stable has had a couple of two-year-olds win in the last week that I think are Spring Champion Stakes and Victoria Derby horses and they are Thinkin' Big and Sydney Blue.

"They are both talented young stayers although Thinkin' Big has a touch more brilliance.''

Thinkin' Big became stronger the longer the race went and was quite dominant on the line in the Owners Recognition Raceday Handicap (1500m).

Jockey Blake Shinn was also impressed by the win of Thinkin' Big ($3.60 favourite), who drew clear of Laburnum ($3.70) to win by one-and-a-quarter lengths with Aliferous ($9) another one-and-a-half lengths away third.

Jockey Blake Shinn and Thinkin' Big combine to win the Owners Recognition Raceday Handicap. Picture: Simon Bullard/AAP
Jockey Blake Shinn and Thinkin' Big combine to win the Owners Recognition Raceday Handicap. Picture: Simon Bullard/AAP

Laburnum loomed up at the 300m, drew level with Thinkin' Big and looked the likely winner but the latter still had plenty in reserve.

"Thinkin' Big is still very new and he was stargazing a bit,'' Shinn said.

"I don't think the other horse (Laburnum) headed my colt but it switched him on.

"He kicked into another gear and was powerful through the line. He's a lovely young horse and he will stay, I've got no doubts about that.''

Shinn also took the opportunity to pass on his condolences to popular Sydney racing identity and leading owner Max Whitby, who is mourning the passing of his wife, Jennifer, after her long battle with illness.

Thinkin' Big is by High Chaparral out of Nothin' Leica Cat, making him a full brother to the classy Stampede, a winner of the Wagga Wagga Gold Cup and Chairman's Handicap.

Waterhouse, who trains in partnership with Adrian Bott, said the equine brothers would be among the stable's spring carnival team.

"Stampede is back in work and coming along nicely for the new season,'' Waterhouse said.

"Thinkin' Big had no trouble jumping from 1200m to 1500m today and that is because he is a natural stayer. He will get better over further, too.''

Waterhouse prepared Nothin' Leica Dane to win the 1995 Victoria Derby and that horse is the sire of Thinkin' Big's grandam.

"Nothin' Leica Dane won the Spring Champion Stakes and the Derby in his first preparation, so it can be done,'' Waterhouse said.

"Thinkin' Big will continue to improve with racing so he is in for an exciting spring.''



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