Sadler’s Lake will head to the Group 1 Epsom Handicap after winning the Group 3 $125,000 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) at Randwick today.
Trainer Chris Waller and jockey Jim Cassidy wrapped up an early George Main Stakes Day double when Sadler’s Lake ($2.80) raced up along the inside to hold off the fast finishing Queenslander Rudy ($2.40 favourite) with the winner’s stablemate Heart Testa ($9.50) holding on for third after setting the pace.
Waller and Cassidy had combined to take out the first race on program with Counterattack winning the Listed 100,000 Schweppes Heritage Stakes (1100m).
Cassidy gave Sadler’s Lake the perfect run third on the fence and stuck to the fence in the straight on the heavy track to gain a clear run to the line to score by half of a length.
Whereas Kerrin McEvoy had to scout wide on the home turn on Rudy who had to come from midfield and the Gold Cost trained gelding made up some good ground in the run to the line and is also heading towards the Group 1 $1m The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on October 3.
Today’s win was Sadler’s Lake second from two starts this campaign over 1400m and Waller said that the 1600m of the Epsom will be right up his alley.
“I think a mile and 2000m will really suit the horse so stepping up to an Epsom in two weeks time will be ideal, a tough mile, ” Waller said.
“The distance will be no problem, he has been there before. I think it is perfect timing.”
“It’s a big step, but it is perfect timing and he is not quite as effective on a wet track so I an looking forward to two weeks time.”
Sadler’s Lake is a proven performer over the 1600m and beyond having already won over the Randwick Mile in restricted class in Janaury and was also a winner during the Brisbane Winter Carnival over 2000m in the Group 3 $125,000 Mitty’s Rough Habit Plate (2000m) at Doomben.
Bill Ritchie Handicap results
|1||6||SADLER’S LAKE||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||–||1||54kg||$2.80|
|2||3||RUDY||Helen Page||Kerrin McEvoy||0.5L||3||58kg||$2.40F|
|3||4||HEART TESTA||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||1.3L||2||56kg||$9.50|
|4||8||DRAGON FLYER||John P Thompson||Sam Clipperton||2.3L||5||54kg||$21|
|5||2||INDEX LINKED (GB)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||2.5L||4||58kg||$31|
|6||5||DESTINY’S KISS||Joseph Pride||Glyn Schofield||2.6L||7||54kg||$20|
|7||11||NEVER BACK DOWN||Jim & Greg Lee||Ms Winona Costin (a)||2.9L||6||54kg||$101|
|8||9||REKINDLED POWER||Paul Messara||Christian Reith||3L||8||54kg||$9|