Ja­panese horses split view­points

Mercury (Hobart) - - RACING -

GAI Water­house had al­ready be­gun stock­ing her sta­ble with Ja­panese-bred horses long be­fore they won this year’s Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate.

But peers of the 135-time Group 1 win­ner are not as con­vinced about Ja­panese run­ners tak­ing over the Spring Car­ni­val, con­fi­dent their own horses can still con­tend.

Water­house has Ja­pane­se­bred geld­ing Hush Writer still vy­ing for a start in the Mel­bourne Cup — en­tered in Satur­day’s Lexus Hotham Hand­i­cap (2600m), which car­ried a golden ticket into Tues­day’s race.

An­other Ja­panese horse in Water­house’s sta­ble, Wolfe, ran 13th in the Caulfield Cup.

“We bought five stay­ers in Ja­pan … they are bet­ter stay­ers than any­where in the world, and we’re just catch­ing on,” Water­house said yes­ter­day.

“From the minute they are born there they are put into work and they never stop.

“Then when you buy them and they go in to train­ing, they work ev­ery day.

“Af­ter the Cox Plate, that horse, by the time it got back in, it wasn’t even blow­ing. They are that fit.”

But trainer Chris Waller, who won four Cox Plates in a row with Winx and trained a record four Group 1 win­ners on a sin­gle day on Oc­to­ber 5, wasn’t con­vinced the Ja­panese train­ing meth­ods were bet­ter.

“Our train­ing meth­ods weren’t bad the last four or five years. I don’t think we need to panic,” he said.

“It’s great to have the Ja­panese horses here, we all have so much re­spect for them. But it’s in­ter­est­ing to see how quickly peo­ple turn their at­ten­tion for the sake of a cou­ple of wins.

“The Ja­panese horses have al­ways been very good and it’s an in­ter­na­tional flavour and that’s what we want.”

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