Stampede returns a winner, Melbourne next

New inductee to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Gai Waterhouse has further reason to celebrate with the winning return of Stampede in the Randwick Mile.

The six-year-old found himself at home on Saturday’s heavy track, leading all the way to win his first start since March, beating Testashadow by five lengths.

Ridden by Josh Parr, Stampede was sent out at $8.50 but never looked in doubt while Testashadow ($17) tried hard but failed to whittle down the margin.

Favourite Goodfella ($3.80) was third, another short neck behind.

Waterhouse’s training partner Adrian Bott said Stampede may now head to Melbourne and a return to Group racing

“He didn’t come up last preparation so we stopped and gave him a good, long break,” Bott said.

“It is just great to see him back. We wanted to get today out of the way before we decided about anything else.

“But 2000 metres is ideal so a race like the (Group One) Mackinnon at Flemington could be a target.”

Parr’s debriefing on return to scale was cut short by the appearance in the mounting yard by a photo-shoot for Liam Payne, the Everest day star entertainer.

But the jockey had nothing but praise for Stampede.

“He bowled along at his own speed and when I slipped him some rein in the straight, his stride increased considerably,” he said.

“He was always going to be hard to run down.”