In The Congo wins star-studded Group Trial at Randwick

Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott had plenty to smile about at the Randwick trials on Tuesday. (Photo: Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott showed their spring hand at the Randwick trials on Tuesday morning as a number of their top performers stepped out.

The opening trial of the morning featured three individual Group 1 winners, including the Waterhouse & Bott pair In The Congo and Converge, who finished first and second respectively, while stablemate Dajraan ran third.

After jumping cleanly from barrier one, the Golden Rose winner held the front under Tim Clark and never saw another horse, winning the 900m trial by 1.4 lengths.

Catching the eye in second was Converge, who trialled similarly back in January before a Group 1-winning autumn campaign.

The other of the three Group 1 winners in the trial was Chris Waller’s mare Fangirl, who coasted through the line late alongside Australian Derby runner-up Benaud to run eighth.

While the Group Trial was the standout of the morning, Waterhouse & Bott were not finished there.

Promising filly Pantonario is yet to win a race, but she has mixed it with some of the best horses of her generation.

After running third on debut behind Coolangatta in the Gimcrack Stakes, the three-year-old by Not A Single Doubt finished third to Fireburn and then again third behind Queen Of The Ball.

In her only run in the autumn, the $750,000 yearling purchase hit the line strongly to finish fourth in the $1.1 million Percy Sykes Stakes behind Paris Dior.

Pantonario led comfortably in her trial over 1050m under Tim Clark and booted clear to win by a length in a time of 1:04.27.

The filly is a likely contender for the Princess Series, which kicks off with the Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) on August 20 at Royal Randwick.

Meanwhile, in Queensland, there were 20 trials contested at Doomben Racecourse on Tuesday morning.

Like at Randwick, Doomben’s heats were dominated by one of the region’s premier stables – in this case, the Tony Gollan yard.

Speed machine Zoustyle led throughout in the second trial of the morning, winning by a convincing 7.5 lengths over the 1000m journey.

In the following heat, star mare Isotope also showed tactical speed to lead her trial, defeating stablemate Ef Troop.

Both Isotope and Zoustyle are expected to have southern preparations, with the McEwen Stakes on September 3 at Moonee Valley likely to be Zoustyle’s first-up run.

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