Premier's Cup to be serious test: Waller
Chris Waller is more concerned about the depth of opposition rather than a plain draw for import Lunayir in the $100,000 Premier’s Cup at Rosehill on Saturday.
Lunayir will start from second widest alley in a race that would have been even stronger if Waller had accepted with original topweight Bayrir.
As it stands, the Listed race has attracted an Australian Derby runner-up in Polish Knight and an English St Leger placegetter in Michelangelo.
Both horses are betting outsiders and the solid nature of the field is further underlined by Prince Cheri’s status as a second emergency, given trainer David Vandyke’s spring schedule for the five-year-old.
Waller won the Premier’s Cup with Snow Alert in 2010 and he has provided most of the placegetters since 2009 but expects this year’s winner to return a superior rating to recent editions.
“It looks a really strong staying race,” Waller said.
“Lunayir has got an awkward gate but we ride him quiet anyway so it doesn’t matter so much to him.”
A member of the OTI Racing team, Lunayir is in his second Australian campaign after coming from France where he ran in last year’s French Derby.
He won second-up for Waller during the autumn carnival and goes into the Premier’s Cup after resuming with a minor placing to Honorious over 1400m.
“He ran a really good race first-up and the step up to 1800 metres will be no problem at all,” Waller said.
Honorious ($3.40) is a clear-cut favourite to make it back-to-back wins despite an injury scare after his Rosehill victory.