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Waterhouse withdraws Fiorente over track
Mandy Cottell
12:43 AEST Thu Jan 16 2014

Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente missed a scheduled barrier trial at Randwick on Thursday after Gai Waterhouse withdrew him in protest against the track.

Waterhouse was unhappy all 16 heats were to be held on the steeple grass with no trials for the stakes-class horses on the Kensington circuit or course proper.

Waterhouse's trio of Fiorente, Carlton House and Group One winner Romantic Touch were all scratched from their respective heats.

They will instead work between races on the Randwick course proper on Saturday.

"Superior horses need to be on superior tracks," Waterhouse said.

"The grass tracks - the B grass and the steeple - are very good but they're working tracks.

"My job is to keep horses sound and win races.

"The club's job is to make tracks available.

""Why not give us the tracks? The owners are paying for them.

"What are the tracks there for? Just to look at?"

The course proper and Kensington track were available for barrier trials for two years while Randwick was closed as a racing centre and redeveloped.

However, both surfaces have been used extensively over the past two months due to renovations at Rosehill.

Randwick also hosts racing for the next two Saturdays, including the $250,000 Inglis Classic meeting this weekend, and the Kensington track will stage Wednesday's midweek program.

Australian Turf Club spokesman Matt Rudolph said they understood trainers wanted the best tracks for their horses but the racing schedule meant the club could not move any trials on Thursday.

Trainers were instead given the option to gallop their stars between races on the Randwick course proper on Saturday.

"We offered all of the trainers that alternative for their Group and Listed horses," Rudolph said.

"We understand, from the trainers' perspective, they want the best surfaces.

"We do what we can, when we can, but the racing schedule was the priority."

Rudolph added that Thursday's trials were advertised as being on the steeple grass and confirmed the Kensington track would be available to hold heats from January 31.

Bart and James Cummings had smart colt Eurozone entered for two heats on Thursday but have taken up the option to gallop him between races at Randwick.

Despite the high attrition rate at Thursday's session there was plenty of quality on display.

Chris Waller's weight-for-age gallopers Hawkspur and Foreteller who were both given quiet hitouts.

Waterhouse's Breeders' Plate winner Law finished second to stablemate Hampton Court in a 1050-metre heat and is on target to resume in the coming weeks.


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