Sydney’s top trainer Chris Waller enjoyed a successful raid on Saturday’s Queensland Cup 2016 at Eagle Farm Racecourse thanks to the win by the race favourite Murphy’s Delight.
The state’s longest race, this year’s $100,000 Listed Queensland Cup (3200m) features 10 stayers with Waller’s European import Murphy’s Delight jumping the $2.60 favourite.
A six-year-old son of Hurricane Run, Murphy’s Delight was runner-up in the Stayers Cup (3200m) over the two miles in Sydney on June 11 before a last start third over 2600m at Randwick.
He enjoyed the step back up in distance on Saturday and the drop from 59kg to 55kg in the Queensland Cup, veteran local hoop Jim Byrne coming aboard for the ride.
The duo did everything right in the run and on the line Murphy’s Delight had three quarters of a length to spare over the Liam Birchely-trained Pop ‘N’ Scotch ($12).
It was the third consecutive second place performance in the Queensland Cup by Husson five-year-old Pop ‘N’ Scotch was runner-up to Iggi Pop in 2014 when prepared by John Thompson and second again last year for Birchley behind Mister Impatience at the Sunshine Coast.
This year’s Queensland Cup trifecta was completed by the Wayne Walters-trained Viva Espana ($7.50) who crossed a further two lengths back again for third in the Dubawi mare’s maiden look at the 3200m.
Waller is looking at eventually running dour stayer Murphy’s Delight in the hurdle races, but will firstly target the 2800m showdown at Flemington Racecourse on Melbourne Cup Day, November 1.
“There is a 2800m race at Flemington on Cup day for him,” Waller told The Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday.
“He’s no superstar but he does a good job. Eventually I can see him jumping.”
The Queensland Cup result saw Byrne enjoy his third win in the race adding to those he took out aboard Insecure (1998) and the aforementioned Iggi Pop (2014).
He was full of confidence heading into the 2016 edition aboard the punters’ pick and was stoked to salute for the powerhouse Waller stable.
“It’s very pleasing to win this race for a third time,” he said.
“It’s great to get a ride for a stable like that and it’s great to win a race for that stable.
“Looking at the race, I knew there were only a handful of them that would handle the ground and then only a couple that would see out the trip, so my main concern was just giving him a nice run because I knew the horse would do the rest.
“In a race like that, you know the others are going to knock up so I didn’t want to get behind any of the slow ones.”
Waller’s stable rep Joanne Taylor also told The Courier Mail post-win that the Queensland Cup winner Murphy’s Delight would be sent for a spell ahead of his spring return.
“He just takes things in his stride and doesn’t get too worked up in his track work. That’s why he can handle the racing he has,” she said of the galloper who has had 10 starts since coming off a year-long break back in February.
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2016 Queensland Cup Results
Eagle Farm Race 4 – 16/07/2016
|1||4||MURPHY’S DELIGHT (IRE)||Chris Waller||Jim Byrne||–||8||55kg||$2.60F|
|2||6||POP ’N’ SCOTCH||Liam Birchley||Robert Thompson||0.8L||9||54kg||$12|
|3||7||VIVA ESPANA (NZ)||Wayne Walters||Jeff Lloyd||2.6L||10||54kg||$7.50|
|4||5||MY DIAMANTINE (NZ)||Brian Smith||Robbie Fradd||2.8L||7||54kg||$7|
|5||3||TUNES||Andrew Williamson||Michael Cahill||2.9L||1||57kg||$16|
|6||1||INSTRUMENTALIST (IRE)||Dale Healey||James Orman (a)||4.9L||6||59kg||$11|
|7||9||MULLET MAN||Ruth Cooper||Micheal Hellyer||5.1L||2||54kg||$41|
|8||2||JIAYUGUAN (IRE)||John P Thompson||Damian Browne||10.6L||5||57kg||$4.20|
|9||8||KURRAJONG DRAGON||Matt Kropp||Andrew Spinks||12.1L||3||54kg||$31|
|10||10||VALTARI||Neville Boyle||Ms Tegan Harrison||14.1L||4||54kg||$41|