iskander

Ganderton can't fault Bellagio after trial


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An easy barrier trial hitout was enough to enhance Daniel Ganderton’s belief that Bellagio Wynn can claim the summer staying double at Randwick on Boxing Day.

Trainer Chris Waller elected to send three of his four Summer Cup entries around in 1030m trials at Rosehill on Tuesday, five days ahead of the $125,000 Group Three 2400m feature.

Bellagio Wynn coasted around at the tail of the field in heat one and Ganderton walked away upbeat about his Summer Cup prospects.

“He trialled terrific,” Ganderton said.

“He obviously wasn’t here to break any records or anything this morning, it was a bit of an exercise gallop for him, but I can’t fault him.

“He looks terrific, he’s a very happy horse, his action was good and he finished off nicely under his own steam. My confidence grew after riding him in the trial.”

Ganderton got the call up to ride Bellagio Wynn as Glyn Schofield, who partnered the gelding to his last-start victory in the Listed Christmas Cup (2400m), is serving a careless riding suspension which doesn’t end until December 29.

Summer Cup runners Beijing Boy and Strike One also went around in heat two of Tuesday’s trials over the same distance.

Beijing Boy, winner of his past two starts, appeared to trial particularly well finishing seventh under Schofield with Strike One coming in at the tail of the 10-horse field.

Jockey Tim Clark will partner Strike One on Sunday and said the stayer was “just warming up” at the end of the 1030m.

Bellagio Wynn is striving to become just the sixth horse to claim the Christmas Cup-Summer Cup double with the most recent being Ready To Lift in 2008.

The seven-year-old gelding had no luck in the Listed Canberra Cup (2000m) last month when he was severely hampered when Rockpecker dumped his rider shortly after the start.

But he bounced back in the Christmas Cup at Rosehill as Schofield brought the stayer through the field from last to defeat Rock Kingdom by 1-1/4 lengths with Jungle Rocket third.

“He was only third-up over 2400 metres last start, he’s quite a clean-winded horse but you would think there would still be a little bit of improvement again going into this race fourth-up,” Ganderton said.

Group One winner Rock Kingdom heads the Summer Cup weights with 58.5kg.

Last year’s Epsom winner finished runner-up in the Canberra Cup with 59kg and then found one better again in the Christmas Cup when he shouldered 59.5kg.

Strike One is next in the weights at 54.5kg, Bellagio Wynn has been given 54kg and Beijing Boy 53.5kg.

The other 10 entries are on the limit of 53kg.