Gai Waterhouse hopes to finally win Inglis Nursery with The Little Pumper

The Inglis Nursery was a race of frustration for Gai Waterhouse, but that won’t stop the stable from competing in the $500,000 event again this year.

Waterhouse will debut Shalaa debutant The Little Pumper in the 1000 meter race for Inglis graduates in the Randwick program on Saturday.

The Hall of Fame coach is yet to win the race but has finished second with De Shamekh (2011), Kimberley Star (2014) and So Serene 2014 before partnering with Adrian Bott, with whom she finished third last year Athletica trains.

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The Little Pumper has a tough nut to crack with Trapeze Artist filly Facile, but Bott said the $120,000 Classic Yearling Sale purchase showed enough to suggest he’ll be competitive.

The legendary horse trainer Gai Waterhouse. Recognition: Reg Ryan/Race photos via Getty Images

“He was pretty straight forward and pretty natural in everything we saw in both of his tests,” Bott said.

“His last one was great, it was a very professional performance, he came through the line well and he looks in good form going into the race which seems like a nice goal for him.”

The Little Pumper’s first attempt was a third-place finish in the 740m at Randwick when he was beaten by three-quarters of a length by Nursery rivals Line Of Law before claiming a straight victory in the 801m at Warwick Farm on November 18 .

The Inglis Nursery has proven to be a fantastic producer with previous winners including Golden Slipper winners Mossfun and She Will Reign, Blue Diamond heroes Extreme Choice and Moir Stakes winner Wild Ruler, and Bott isn’t surprised it’s a good one launch pad is.

“It’s the right time of year for these types of horses and the allure of the prize money gives you an incentive to prepare them for it,” Bott said.

The Little Pumper is ridden by Tim Clark and is in barrier six after early scratches from Worx and Cathay Bracelet which reduced the field to 11 runners. Gai Waterhouse hopes to finally win Inglis Nursery with The Little Pumper

James Brien

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