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Cup clash for Waterhouse foursome
Mandy Cottell
06:19 AEST Fri Jan 25 2013

Gai Waterhouse's quartet of Australia Day Cup runners have a lot in common but it is their points of difference that will determine who comes out on top at Warwick Farm.

Waterhouse will have weight of numbers on her side in Saturday's feature with Tullamore, Reuben Percival, Travolta and Power Broker.

All four hail from New Zealand and they are typical no-nonsense stayers who pay their way for Tulloch Lodge.

But where the first two are proven stakes campaigners, Travolta and Power Broker are untapped.

The most inexperienced of the brigade, Power Broker won at Kembla Grange on Wednesday and will back-up in Saturday's Listed race.

Stable representative Mark Newnham says they are keen to see how he copes with the class rise.

"It was a good strong win and Saturday will probably give us an idea of where he's going to get to this preparation," Newnham said.

Travolta is also progressive and has surprised the stable by how well he has adjusted to Australian racing.

Bought as a tried horse, he won his first start for Waterhouse in November, which went against the trend of previous Kiwi acquisitions who took time to adjust.

"Horses like Tullamore and Reuben, they really struggled their first preparation or two class-wise, but he's been able to do it in his first prep," Newnham said.

"We've kept raising the bar and he's made the necessary adjustments."

And then there is Tullamore.

The gelding comes into the race off an unconventional grounding.

After two barrier trials and a 1400m run earlier this month he steps straight up to 2400m but Newnham says he has "had the miles in his work".

A Group Two winner, Tullamore was placed in the 2011 Caulfield and Moonee Valley Cups but has struggled to recapture form since.

"He seems perfectly fine, mentally fine and physically fine. We'll find out if the will is still there," Newnham said.

Tullamore is a $15 chance with TAB fixed odds while Power Broker is the outsider of the Waterhouse quartet at $26.

The other two hold sway with punters with Reuben Percival the $5 favourite ahead of Travolta at $7.

Newnham reckons the markets have got it pretty right and says Reuben Percival's toughness might be his edge.

"He came off a short break after his Melbourne campaign and he ran terrific in the Gosford Cup," he said.

"Even last time in work he went from the mile to the 2400 (metres) of the Metropolitan and ran third so he's one of those horses, whatever you throw at him he does his best."

Reuben Percival performed well in Melbourne last spring and could again head south after Saturday for the Mornington Cup, which automatically qualifies the winner for the Caulfield Cup.


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