Tulloch Lodge seeking early Christmas joy

Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott are set to have two runners in the Listed Christmas Cup with the stable favouring running dual-state acceptor Serpentine in Sydney.

Serpentine, who has been freshened since finishing down the track in the Melbourne Cup, is also in the Zipping Classic (2400m) but Bott says Military Mission is likely to be their sole runner in the Caulfield feature.

“We’re going to keep him in Sydney at this stage,” Bott said of Serpentine.

“He seems to have bounced out of the Cup in good order. He’s had a bit of time between runs now and seems to have freshened up nicely.

“His form prior to that was very consistent and good, so hopefully he can bounce back.”

Coming off a Brisbane winter carnival campaign, Serpentine was stakes placed at Randwick early in the spring and finished third in The Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington.

Bott felt he didn’t see out the 3200-metres of the Melbourne Cup after making the running but reported the horse had done well since.

Serpentine will join recent stable addition I’m A Dirty Rascal in the Rosehill staying feature, the latter showing positive signs at his Tulloch Lodge debut when warming up late for fifth over 1850m at Newcastle’s The Hunter meeting.

Fourth in the 2021 Group 1 Irish St Leger, I’m A Dirty Rascal has raced just five times since and Bott expects him to strip much fitter for his first-up effort.

“I think he will really appreciate jumping out to this trip quite sharply,” he said.

“It was a good run the other day against the pattern and in a race shape that didn’t necessarily suit him.

“He can be a nice improver for us and hopefully go through his grades.”

I’m A Dirty Rascal is on the 53kg minimum with Tim Clark to ride, while Serpentine, who carries 57kg, will be partnered by Adam Hyeronimus.

A field of 12 will line up in the Christmas Cup including topweight Sky Lab and last year’s upset winner Torrens.

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