Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Racing

Converge continues to be full of surprises

Converge returns after winning his barrier trial at Randwick on Friday. Photo: Mark Evans–Getty Images

 

Source: Racenet
Words: Clinton Payne

There is plenty of optimism surrounding the upcoming campaign of Group 1-winning juvenile Converge. The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained gelding stamped himself as a horse to follow when producing a stunning turn of foot to win a 1000m Randwick course proper barrier trial on Friday.

Regular jockey Tim Clark partnered the Frankel gelding in the trial and said he believes the best is still to come from a horse bred to be most effective over distances he’s yet to be tried over.

“He surprises you when you look back at how quickly he does accelerate because he doesn’t feel as though he’s doing that,” Clark said. “He’s obviously very good and he seems to be doing it quite effortlessly and he doesn’t feel like he’s straining really hard to do what he’s doing. I wasn’t surprised that he trialled like he did on Friday. He trialled well in his first trial and his couple of gallops since the first trial suggested he’d come on again. Timing wise gives me the impression he’s perfectly positioned coming into what’s ahead this preparation. He’s improving each time he goes out and does a bit of serious work, all the signs are pretty positive. He’s in good shape going into the preparation.”

 

Converge is slated to return in the Group 2 Run To The Rose (1200m) on September 11 before his first main target – the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) on September 25.

“We wanted him to do a bit more work in Friday’s trial so it was good to see that sharpness,” Adrian Bott said.

“He’s going to need to be sharp first-up against the good colts in the Run To The Rose. The plan is obviously to still head towards the Golden Rose and his first couple of runs will decide what the rest of his spring looks like.”

Races on the table for Converge after the Golden Rose include Melbourne features during October, the Caulfield Guineas and he also holds a nomination for the Cox Plate. Clark, who concedes he’s unlikely to be able to continue his association with Converge if the three-year-old ventures south into Victoria, describes the gelding as “a real delight for a jockey”.

“He’s a horse that really conserves his energy,” he said.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how he lines up against these top colts over the shorter trips early in his prep. He’s proving a lot more effective since we started riding him quieter. That has been something that has been a real bonus. I’ve no doubt he went to a new level when we started riding him more patiently and hopefully, he can go up another notch this preparation at three. I wouldn’t rule it out. He’s a pretty unassuming horse, nothing special to look at and being a gelding, you don’t have all the stud potential hype so he’s the sort of horse that you pick out a race – aim and shoot. Gai and Adrian have so many options with a horse like him.”

Converge is the $8 third favourite for the Golden Rose with TAB Fixed Odds while he shares the second line of betting at the same quote for the Caulfield Guineas along with Blue Diamond Stakes winner Artorius.

For the Cox Plate, the three-year-old sits on the fourth line of betting at $21 behind the favourite Zaaki at $4.50.

 

 
 

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