The Sportsman Weekend - - News - MATH EW TOOGOOD

FIVE-year-old Stam­pede will be among a host of horses putting Caulfield Cup as­pi­ra­tions on show in to­mor­row’s Group 3 Nat­u­ral­ism Stakes.

The car­ries a bal­lot ex­emp­tion for the win­ner into next month’s $3 mil­lion Caulfield Cup (2400m) with most horses for the 2000m-race hold­ing Cup en­tries.

The Gai Water­house and Adrian Bott-trained Stam­pede won the Listed Wag ga Wag ga Gold Cup in NSW Group 3 Chair­man’s Handicap in Queens­land over 2000m last cam­paign be­fore be­ing put away for the spring.

He re­sumed with a con­vinc­ing win in a 1600m-handicap at Moonee Val­ley on Septem­ber 9.

“We pen­cilled in the Caulfield Cup as a race we’d love to tar­get with him,” Bott said. “Af ter win­ning in Queens­land we de­cided to pull the pin early on his Queens­land cam­paign just to re­ally fo­cus on giv­ing him his chance at the bet­ter qual­ity stay­ing fea­tures over car­ni­val.

“That gave us enough time to put him out, give him a quick turn­around and bring back and tr y to pre­pare for a race like the Caulfield Cup.

“His first-up ran gave us a lot of con­fi­dence and ob­vi­ously Satur­day is the next nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion.”

Beau Mer tens rode Stam­pede to vic­tor y at Moonee Val­ley and again has the ride.

“It will be tougher com­pe­ti­tion on Satur­day, so we’ll need to see him take that next step,” Bott said.

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