Waller to have three in Christmas Cup
Last start winner Beijing Boy will bypass Saturday’s Christmas Cup at Rosehill but Chris Waller will still have a strong hand with three runners.
The trainer has decided against the seven-day back-up for Beijing Boy who will be saved for the Summer Cup at Randwick on Boxing Day.
Strike One, who ran second to Beijing Boy over 2000 metres at Rosehill on Saturday will take his place in the Christmas Cup (2400m) along with Alexander Of Hales and Bellagio Wynn.
Beijing Boy and Strike One are now unlikely to head to the Perth Cup on New Year’s Day with travel arrangements proving troublesome.
“It’s too hard to get to Perth so they are very doubtful,” Waller said.
“They can’t give exact dates of flights and we have to go to Melbourne first which is not ideal.
“It’s easier to cope with flight delays if you are going from your home base so at this stage they will both head to the Summer Cup on Boxing Day.”
Glyn Schofield will be reunited with Bellagio Wynn in Saturday’s Listed feature after the pair had a torrid time in last Sunday week’s Canberra Cup.
Bellagio Wynn had the misfortune to be behind Melbourne horse Rockpecker who veered out sharply shortly after the start, dislodging jockey Michael Rodd.
After negotiating the trouble and losing many lengths in the process, Bellagio Wynn tacked on to the field and ran home strongly for seventh, little more than six lengths behind the winner Macknuckle.
“It was unfortunate, we had bad luck, now it’s time for good luck,” Waller said.
Schofield rode Alexander Of Hales to third place in last month’s Gosford Cup but Kerrin McEvoy takes over on Saturday.
McEvoy rode Alexander Of Hales in a 1030m barrier trial at Rosehill on Tuesday morning.
Hugh Bowman will ride Strike One.
As he attempts to stretch his Rosehill winning streak to 19 consecutive Saturday meetings at the track, Waller will have three runners in the 2000 benchmark 80 – Russian Jar, Patrician’s Glory and Carnegies Cruzin.
Among his other runners is the talented Sikka in the 1200m benchmark 80.
A $1.1 million yearling owned by Bob Ingham and his family, the newly gelded Sikka made a triumphant return to racing on November 27 at Randwick.
Unlike many colts who are gelded because they are headstrong, Sikka was the opposite.
“He was never colty, he was a very timid horse,” Waller said.
“He wasn’t letting go as he should.”
Sikka showed no signs of timidity in his Randwick win when he sprinted home from worse than midfield to beat So So Sure by almost two lengths.