It is the weekend’s only black-type race down under but star Sydney horseman Chris Waller has labelled the 2015 Winter Cup as “woeful” and rates Our Voodoo Prince as a winning chance for the stable in the Rosehill Gardens clash.
Waller trained the first four in the race 12 months ago led by the Tye Angland-ridden Secessio and is back with a trio of acceptors for this Saturday’s $100,000 Listed Ronald McDonald House Westmead Winter Cup (2400m).
Running as Rosehill Race 4 at 1:45pm (AEST), the ATC Winter Cup field features just the seven runners and Waller saddles-up Danchai (barrier one), Gosh (barrier three) and Our Voodoo Prince (barrier seven).
In the latest Winter Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au the bookies best rate the chances of Waller’s last start Ipswich Cup winning Authorized six-year-old Danchai who Hugh Bowman will ride from the inside alley.
The grey import pays $2.40 to score back-to-back Cup wins across dual states and is followed closely in the Winter Cup odds by the Gai Waterhouse-trained top weight Bonfire (59kg) on $2.80.
Waller though likes the odds being offered on Our Voodoo Prince who pays $8 and has last year’s winning hoop Angland booked for the ride in the outside alley.
The mile and a half in the Winter Cup looks ideal for this veteran Kingmambo seven-year-old, the gelding having had eight previous 2400m starts for a win and three third place finishes.
The last was his third when only three lengths off the winner Sense Of Occasion in the Listed W.J. McKell Cup (2400m) on a Heavy (9) Randwick track on May 23.
He was then tested over the two miles back at Royal Randwick on June 6 in his last start when second, beaten five lengths by Lovethebeaches in the Stayers Cup (3200m).
Likely to relish the step back in distance, Our Voodoo Prince is the value bet in the markets according to Waller whose third runner, imported mare Gosh, pays $21 to win her first race down under from barrier three with Glyn Schofield in the saddle.
“There’s a woeful race he can win up there (in Sydney),” Waller told the Herald Sun when speaking about his expanding base in Flemington, Melbourne boasting better tracks and training facilities according to the ‘King of Sydney Racing’.
“Your tracks are so much better, so much drier,” he said.
“I know Melbourne doesn’t have the same sort of rain as us, especially in recent times, but the difference is remarkable.’’
Outside of Sydney where Waller dominates proceedings, the master trainer also has five horses lining up across the nine-race card at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse on Saturday.
Abbasso will be ridden by Glen Boss in the $40,000 Jeune Handicap (1610m), Liberty Island carries the 60kg top weight in the $80,000 Brian Beattie Handicap (1610m), last start winner at the track and distance Black Jag runs in the $80,000 Banjo Paterson Series Heat 5 (2500m) where Our Voodoo Prince is scratched from, Al Maher four-year-old Amovatio runs in the $80,000 Winter Championship Series Heat 6 (1400m), and Mamwaazel lines up from a wide draw in the $80,000 Leilani Series Heat 4 (1400m) that closes the card at 4:40pm (AEST).
Of the five Waller likes the chances of Mamwaazel in the last as well as the always honest Black Jag.
“He’s no world-beater but gee he tries hard,” he said of the Excites six-year-old who pays $7 through Ladbrokes.com.au to win Flemington Race 6 on the weekend.
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