'Dead-set stayer' Transact will be attempting to preserve Gai Waterhouse's excellent record in Victoria's furthest Stakes race for three-year-old's at Flemington on Thursday.
Waterhouse, who since August 2016 has trained in partnership with Adrian Bott, has won the Listed VRC St Leger (2800m) with Hippopus (2013), Order Of The Sun (2014) and Runaway (2018).
"I pick out one horse each year for the race and Transact fits the bill this year as he's a dead-set stayer," Waterhouse told the VRC.
Transact has raced 10 times for two wins and three placings, with both his victories coming last September in Class 1 handicaps at Cessnock (over 2125m) and Newcastle (2320m).
Transact is winless from four starts this campaign but has filled minor placings from his past three starts. The son of Dundeel was runner-up in the Listed Galilee Series Final (2400m) at Caulfield on April 13 after racing outside the lead. He took the lead with 700m remaining but was unable to match Secret Blaze over the final 300m.
"He doesn't have a great turn of foot," she said. "That's why I thought Linda (Meech) should have led on him the other day at Caulfield as he's a bit one-paced. If she had I think he would have gone close."
Luke Currie, who guided Secret Blaze to victory in the Galilee Series Final, will ride Transact in the St Leger with Meech sidelined through injury.
Waterhouse says Transact could run in the $400,000 Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (2800m) at Flemington on May 25 provided he performs well in the St Leger. The Ramsden is restricted to those aged three to five years old and now carries ballot-free exemption for the Melbourne Cup later in the year.
"We need more staying races for younger horses," Waterhouse added. "Japan and Europe have them all the time and that's one of the reasons they are taking the spots in the Melbourne Cup. It's good to see the VRC making inroads with more staying races."
St Leger meeting at Flemington on Thursday, picture Quentinjlang.com