NICE WORK: Stephen Baster on Hush Writer (left) and Dwayne Dunn on Northwest Passage. Picture: Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images
NICE WORK: Stephen Baster on Hush Writer (left) and Dwayne Dunn on Northwest Passage. Picture: Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images

Northwest Passage trained on ‘sensationally’

CHAMPION trainer Gai Waterhouse says she will have no hesitation running Northwest Passage in the Melbourne Cup if he can win today's Lexus Handicap.

The five-year-old gelding by So You Think - a dual Cox Plate champion and Melbourne Cup placegetter in his own right - finished second behind stablemate Runaway in last month's Geelong Cup.

Heading into the Geelong Cup, Waterhouse admitted she had Northwest Passage rated higher than the eventual winner.

"Northwest Passage was going a bit better than Runaway," Waterhouse told the Geelong Advertiser.

"He was probably showing a little bit more class on the training track, but Runaway was doing everything right, I couldn't fault him.

"We knew both horses would run out of their skins."

Northwest Passage is part-owned by Geelong's Peter and Rhonda Mullen and Jamie and George Medved.

Waterhouse said she was happy with Northwest Passage's run and he had trained on "sensationally" for today's Melbourne Cup-exempt race.

"His run behind Runaway was excellent," she said.

"He probably just needed a bit further and he probably needed that run the other day.

"He's got a great winning chance. He's a very good staying horse.

"We won't wait and see at all (about backing him up); he's running with the intention of running in the Cup if he can win."

With Derby favourite Thinkin' Big likely to head to the Melbourne Cup if he wins today's feature race for three-year olds, Waterhouse said it would be a thrill to have three runners in the race that stops the nation.

"It would be a dream come true. It's nice enough to have one in the Cup," she said.

"If you had two or three, you couldn't even describe what a great thing for the owners."



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