The punters are coming for the Joe Pride-trained...
Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller will saddle up a third of the field in the 2018 Group 1 $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Waller has won the Epsom Handicap on three previous occasions with Boban (2013), He’s Your Man (2014) and Winx (2015) and has a great chance to add another Epsom Handicap trophy to the mantelpiece with one of his seven runners in the twenty horse field plus two emergencies.
The Waller runners are D’Argento (barrier 1), Shillelagh (5), Single Gaze (12), Unforgotten (3), Mister Sea Wolf (7), Religify (8) and Tom Melbourne (19) while Paret (11) has been installed as the second emergency.
High profile jockey James McDonald has the mount on the early favourite D’Argento again after partnering the grey two starts back to a third placing behind super star stablemate Winx in the Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 18 and is replacing Hugh Bowman who was aboard last start for a second to Home Of The Brave in the Group 2 $200,000 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on September 8.
Bowman will ride the James Cummings trained Hartnell who is the top weight for the Epsom Handicap and will jump from barrier ten.
McDonald is happy to have drawn the inside gate and said that D’Argento felt great when he rode him work this morning at Rosehill.
“The inside draw is okay. It is obviously better than drawing twenty-two,” McDonald said.
“I see that there are few favourites drawn around me and that will make it an interesting race.”
“From what I felt this morning, he is flying the horse. He is such a beautiful horse with no weight on his back. He is going to be awfully hard to beat.”
“He worked nice and sharp over five furlongs (1000m), he came home the last two (400m) really good.”
“I couldn’t be more pleased the way he is going and what I felt this morning he is hum dinging.”
Final field for the 2018 Epsom Handicap (1600m)
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||90x1304x24||HARTNELL (GB)||James Cummings||Hugh Bowman||10||57kg||113|
|2||x121122x12||PIERATA||Gregory Hickman||Corey Brown||4||54kg||109|
|3||1x13714x32||D’ARGENTO||Chris Waller||James McDonald||1||53.5kg||106|
|4||x076x462x4||SHILLELAGH (NZ)||Chris Waller||Michael Walker||5||53kg||109|
|5||x577421x04||DUCA VALENTINOIS (IRE)||James Cummings||Glyn Schofield||16||53kg||105|
|6||20x22525x0||SINGLE GAZE||Chris Waller||Ms Kathy O’Hara||12||52.5kg||108|
|7||11x0121x61||UNFORGOTTEN||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||3||52.5kg||108|
|8||5×23095611||MISTER SEA WOLF (IRE)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||7||52.5kg||104|
|9||205138×464||ARBEITSAM||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||15||52.5kg||103|
|10||1x22x04766||RELIGIFY||Chris Waller||Jay Ford||8||52.5kg||103|
|11||1x31117x48||LANCIATO (NZ)||Mark Newnham||Ms Rachel King||6||52kg||103|
|12||0x25828x26||TOM MELBOURNE (IRE)||Chris Waller||Dean Yendall||19||51.5kg||100|
|13||22x1330x32||CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES||Bjorn Baker||Craig Newitt||21||51kg||105|
|14||722x240x92||RED EXCITEMENT||Gerald Ryan||Damien Thornton||13||51kg||102|
|15||525x546x51||NEW TIPPERARY||Joseph Pride||Craig Williams||17||51kg(incl 1kg pen)||101|
|16||2x1295x271||SIEGE OF QUEBEC||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||James Innes Jnr||14||50kg||104|
|17||x3620x4025||INVICTUS PRINCE (GB)||Matthew Smith||Andrew Adkins||9||50kg||98|
|18||025x2347x8||RADIPOLE (IRE)||Michael Moroney||Dean Holland||22||50kg||97|
|19||336717×631||MURAAQEB||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Cory Parish||2||50kg||93|
|22e||x568x31117||PARET||Chris Waller||Michael Dee||11||50kg||84|
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