Trainer Chris Waller has managed a major achievement after booking Hong Kong jockey Douglas Whyte to ride Junoob in the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Junoob emerged as a strong 2014 Caulfield Cup contender after displaying strong staying power to win Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) last Saturday by half a length.
Leading online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au is offering early Caulfield Cup odds of $15 for the gelding, who’ll travel to Melbourne for the first time this year.
Others have tried and failed for many years to bring the champion jockey to Australia, so this is a ringing endorsement for Waller’s stables.
Whyte is the latest international star Waller has nabbed for a major race, following Zac Purton winning the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) with Sacred Falls and most recently globe-trotting star Joao Moreira winning his first Australian Group One in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) with He’s Your Man.
Whyte, Moreira, and Purton are the top three jockeys in Hong Kong at the moment, so the success enjoyed by his fellow jockeys on Waller-trained horses obviously helped Whyte’s decision to partner with the top Sydney trainer.
All three jockeys are now set to ride in the Caulfield Cup, which is a massive coup for Melbourne Racing Club.
Moreira is set to partner Gris Caro ($34) while Purton will ride Japanese star Admire Rakti ($15).
Whyte is one of three jockeys Waller has locked away for the Caulfield Cup 2014. Michael Rodd will ride Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) winner Moriarty ($26) while Damien Oliver is booked to ride Hawkspur ($17). \
Waller may get a fourth entry for impressive last start Bart Cummings winner Who Shot Thebarman, offering odds of $13 at Ladbrokes.com.au, depending on the results of Saturday’s Herbert Power Stakes in which the 14 runners will vie to improve their Cup standings.
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