Jedd O'Keeffe is looking forward to seeing Waterclock make his debut for the yard in the Chester Cup
Last Updated: 01/05/14 2:02pm
Trainer Jedd O'Keeffe is looking forward to seeing talented stayer Waterclock make his debut for the yard in the StanJames.com Chester Cup next Wednesday.
Although the five-year-old has failed to get his head in front since making a winning racecourse debut at Newbury in October 2011, Waterclock ran some good races in defeat last year for Roger Charlton, not least when filling the runner-up spot behind Scatter Dice in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket last October.
A couple of weeks later he changed hands for 85,000 guineas at Tattersalls and Leyburn-based O'Keeffe has been thrilled with what his new recruit has shown him since he arrived.
Waterclock is one of 31 horses still in contention for the prestigious two-and-a-quarter-mile handicap following the confirmation stage and a maximum field of 17 looks assured.
He said: "He's definitely an intended runner and we're very happy with the work he's been doing at home.
"This race has been the plan since we bought him really and he's moved up to 16th in the weights, so he will definitely get a run, which is great.
"Everything has gone according to plan so far. Ideally we would have liked to have given him a run to make sure he was spot-on, but we couldn't risk affecting his handicap mark, so we decided to go straight there.
"You always need plenty of luck in running in races like these, but if he gets that, hopefully he'll run a good race."
Aidan O'Brien's El Salvador now heads the weights and will be the only Irish-trained runner in the field if he makes the trip to the Roodee.
Roger Varian's Perfect Heart and the Ed Dunlop-trained Mubaraza have been prominent in ante-post lists and remain on course, as do the likes of Glenard, Ballinderry Boy and White Nile.
Leading owner Dr Marwan Koukash loves nothing more than winners at his local track, particularly in this event, and won the race for a second time 12 months ago with the Richard Fahey-trained Address Unknown.
This time Koukash has five possible runners in Montaser, Duke Of Clarence, Suegioo, Gabrial's King and Angel Gabrial. Gabrial's King is currently the 17th and final horse guaranteed a start, with recent Ripon scorer Angel Gabrial down in 22nd.
The withdrawals include Alcaeus, Pallasator, Royal Irish Hussar and Big Thunder.