Chris Waller’s progressive five-year-old Wazn yesterday saluted for the punters in the fifth at Warwick Farm taking out the Australia Day Cup 2012, the imported galloper thriving in the wet conditions.
Coming off a brave second to Straight Albert in the Gosford Cup a fortnight earlier, the Whipper stallion recorded their first ever stakes success after beating home Peter Snowden’s Group 1 performer Yulalona ($5.50) to win the $100,000 Listed Australia Day Cup (2400m) on a Heavy (8) track.
The winning margin was three quarters of a length, while the John O’Shea-trained Legsman, $4 equal favourite with the winner Wazn, finished off the 2012 Australia Day Cup trifecta just a further long neck away after setting a strong pace as the leader early on.
Wazn settled just off the slick speed before their hoop Glyn Schofield guided them up and through the frontrunners before hitting the lead at the top of the straight.
“We were going that quick there was five or six of them abreast going into the first turn,” Schofield said.
“Chris (Waller) wanted me to be positive from the inside gate, he (Wazn) showed good gate speed at Gosford.
“So I thought he would put himself midfield without any trouble, but the tempo was a bit too solid for me.
“I was happy to just go back, he was going up to 2400 metres on a heavy track, so I didn’t want to overdo it early.
“I knew where the winning post was. It was the second time round, not the first time.
“I got a lot of inside runs and cut the corner and saved a bit of ground.
“Once I got around Jimmy (Cassidy, aboard Legsman), Wazn accelerated away and felt like he was going to win by a couple of lengths.
“But then he got tired and was really laboring in the last 100 metres.”
Wazn has now won six of their 18 career starts for $303,376 in prize money, the former French-trained and raced stayer having made their debut down under back in May last year.
Waller was pleased with the performance on Thursday, saying it was a nice improvement on the horse’s sixth to Straight Albert at the track two starts back when beaten over three lengths in the Listed Tattersalls Club Cup (2095m) on January 2.
“Everything was going along beautifully until two starts ago when he ran here in the Tatt’s Cup and I think the hard track got to him that day,” Waller said.
“Last start he ran a super race for second in the Gosford Cup and it was a good ride from Glyn today.
“The plan wasn’t to go that far back but we wanted to save a bit of ground and not go to the outside at the 600 metre mark.
“It worked out pretty well.”
Wazn is now likely to head to the paddock before being bought back at the end of the Sydney Autumn Carnival ahead of an assault on the 2012 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival mid-year.
“He’s more of an Australian-type of stayer and has got a bit of speed to him,” Waller said.
“We’ll target some of the 2000 metres races at the end of the Sydney Carnival and then head to Queensland and maybe end up in the Brisbane Cup.”
The $300,000 Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) runs at Eagle Farm on June 9, 2012.
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2012 Australia Day Cup Results
Warwick Farm Race 5 – 26/01/2012
|1||5||WAZN (IRE)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||–||1||54kg||$4EF|
|2||3||YULALONA||Peter Snowden||Hugh Bowman||0.8L||5||55kg||$5.50|
|3||4||LEGSMAN (NZ)||John O’Shea||Jim Cassidy||1L||6||54.5kg||$4EF|
|4||9||PALASPORT||Gregory Hickman||Ms Kathy O’Hara||6.2L||8||54kg||$26|
|5||1||KING LIONHEART||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||13.6L||7||59.5kg||$11|
|6||6||WINNING GLORY (NZ)||David Payne||Brenton Avdulla||14.4L||2||54kg||$7.50|
|7||2||KONTIKI PARK (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Peter Robl||17L||4||58.5kg||$7.50|
|8||8||ZOOMANIA (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Blake Shinn||33.9L||3||54kg||$18|
|–||10||PECK||Peter Snowden||Christian Reith||–||0||–||–|
|–||7||PERMIT (GB)||Chris Waller||Corey Brown||–||0||–||–|