Gai eyes The Golden Eagle win with Hawaii Five Oh

Alligator Blood came up marginally short in his quest for Cox Plate glory on Saturday, but Gai Waterhouse is confident her next big spring win could come as early as this Saturday.

The Hall of Fame legend and her training partner Adrian Bott will have a two-pronged attack on the $10 million Golden Eagle at Rosehill, headlined by Hawaii Five Oh.

The son of I Am Invincible heads in off a sixth placing in the $20 million The Everest, which was just his 11th start, and Waterhouse has no concerns with him jumping from the 1200m of The Everest to Saturday’s 1500m event.

“That won’t be a problem because that’s what he needs,” Waterhouse said.

“He’s a very smart horse, Hawaii Five Oh, he’s very lightly-raced and very good.”

The Golden Eagle will be the fourth start this campaign for Hawaii Five Oh, who finished a head second to The Everest winner Think About It in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) two starts ago.

He will become the fourth horse to progress to the Golden Eagle via The Everest with Sunlight – who finished second to Kolding in the inaugural Golden Eagle after finishing 10th in The Everest in 2019 – the only one to place in either event.

Arcadia Queen also contested both races in 2019, finishing 11th in The Everest and fifth in the Golden Eagle, while Overpass was sixth and ninth respectively last year.

The other Golden Eagle runner for Waterhouse and Bott is European gelding New Endeavour, who finished 11th in the $1 million Silver Eagle at his Australian debut.

The Golden Eagle will be run seven days after the Cox Plate, in which Alligator Blood finished third, beaten just a short-neck by Romantic Warrior.

Waterhouse said, although beaten, the performance reaffirmed her belief that the seven-time Group 1 winner was a ‘champion’.

“I’m not disappointed in my horse, he was fantastic,” Waterhouse said.

“He’s a champion. Only champions come here and he fought out the finish. He was game.”

Alligator Blood will now progress to Champions Day at Flemington on November 11 with the seven-year-old likely to be nominated for the 1600m Champions Mile – which he won last year – and 2000m Champions Stakes, both Group 1 events worth $3 million.

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