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No pilgrimage but Waterhouse eyes Bool


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The COVID-19 pandemic will force Gai Waterhouse to miss her annual pilgrimage to Warrnambool, but it won't stop the Hall of Fame trainer chasing one of the May Racing Carnival's biggest prizes.

An avid and vocal supporter of jumps racing, Waterhouse will be searching for her first win in the Galleywood Hurdle (3200m) next Tuesday with rejuvenated stayer Runaway.

A Geelong Cup winner in 2018, Runaway broke a lengthy run of outs with a dominant 12-length maiden hurdle win at Warrnambool in March and followed up with a similarly devastating 10-length win over the hurdles at Park on April 19.

Waterhouse said the five-year-old was a natural jumper.

"Warrnambool is wonderful and we're so lucky to have jumps racing in Australia," Waterhouse said.

"Not every horse wants to jump but if a horse likes to jump - and it is a natural phenomenon for a horse to do - why not let them do it?

"In this case, it's given a horse that may have finished his career on the flat, as Runaway had, a chance to do something he really enjoys instead of standing in a paddock.

"Runaway just relishes it, he just loves it and we're seeing that on the track."

Diamond Star Halo and Scholarly are also expected to line up in jumps races at Warrnambool for Waterhouse and her training partner, Adrian Bott.

Waterhouse, who was granted her jumps training licence in 2013, claimed the 2016 Brierly Steeplechase (3450m) with Valediction and has won maiden hurdles during the Carnival in recent years with Social Element and Tenby Lady.