Jockey James Winks knows he has his work cut out for him this spring if he is retain the ride on Chris Waller’s Caulfield Cup 2014 bound galloper Our Voodoo Prince.
Sydney’s premier trainer Waller is mapping out the new season campaign of imported stayer Our Voodoo Prince who is targeting the $3 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18.
Our Voodoo Prince is set for a trial on August 1 before doing their early spring racing in Sydney.
Waller then plans to take them to Victoria where their first Melbourne run of their campaign will be on October 4, two weeks before the Caulfield Cup, in the $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
Previously prepared in Great Britain by Ed Dunlop the rising seven-year-old son of Kingmambo has had three runs in Australia since being transferred to Waller’s care at the start of the year.
They’ve won all three of those starts, all in Victoria, including the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on April 19.
For their winning hat-trick Winks was in the saddle, Our Voodoo Prince a mount he would very much like to keep throughout the spring.
“I’m always happy to get a ride for Chris, he’s a great trainer and you know his horses are in great shape when you get on them,” the Group 1 winning Winks told AAP this week.
“I’d be thrilled to get back on Our Voodoo Prince if the opportunity came my way.”
With the horse to race firstly in Sydney however that presents a problem and the Melbourne-based Winks will have to be super impressive in his lead-up rides for Waller to earn consideration for the bigger new season races.
He gets an early chance to do that this Saturday at Caulfield riding in the last for the master horseman aboard Fulgur in the $80,000 Catanach’s Jewellers Handicap (1800m).
Fulgur is equal $5 favourite for the win along with stable mate and 60kg top weight Bagman, and Winks is confident he can get the job done aboard the honest High Chaparral six-year-old.
“Fulgur’s always around the mark but looking on paper, the top weight is the one to beat,” Winks said.
“My bloke is very consistent. I rode him three starts back at Moonee Valley and he didn’t have a lot of luck in a race The Cleaner dominated from the front.”
Winks also keeps himself in the frame for Waller’s horses riding for him at trackwork at Flemington once a week.
“If it’s not Our Voodoo Prince, Chris has plenty of good-quality horses that can measure up so I’d be happy to pick up some more rides,” he said.
Our Voodoo Prince is certainly looking the plum ride in the staying majors though if the early Caulfield Cup betting markets are anything to go by.
Futures Caulfield Cup odds are led by ATC Oaks winner Rising Romance ($13) while Our Voodoo Prince isn’t far off them at their current quote of $17.
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