"New look" Sikka to be seen at Randwick
The Ingham family and trainer Chris Waller are hoping the tough decision to geld Sikka will start paying off on Saturday.
A $1.1 million yearling, Sikka was among the group Bob Ingham bought at the 2008 Easter Sale when he started afresh after selling his Woodlands racing and breeding empire to Sheikh Mohammed.
Ingham appointed Waller as his trainer and Sikka had the distinction of being the first winner from the multi-million dollar outlay but has mixed his form since.
He was given a quiet time in a barrier trial on Tuesday morning ahead of running in an 1150m Benchmark 75 at Randwick, his first start since the operation.
“It was a hard decision to geld him but one we are hoping will pay off,” Waller said.
“He had a quiet trial this morning and will line up again on Saturday.
“His last start was disappointing.”
Sikka claimed his second win on July 31 but was spelled after his unplaced run behind stablemate Gigino two weeks later.
Saturday’s meeting will be conducted on the Kensington track, the scene of Sikka’s debut win in May last year when he beat Hus Der Lieften, another high-priced yearling at $1.2 million.
Hus Der Lieften has also been gelded and sold to Hong Kong interests to race there.
The current premiership leader in Sydney, Waller will have a strong hand at the Randwick meeting including Altered Boy in the Open Handicap (1150m) and Beijing Boy and Patrician’s Glory in the 1800m Benchmark 85.
“Altered Boy is fresh-up and he is usually better at his second run but I never underestimate him,” Waller said.
“Beijing Boy and Patrician’s Glory are both heading towards the Christmas and Summer Cups.”
Both the Christmas Cup on December 11 and the Summer Cup on Boxing Day are over 2400 metres, a distance that suits both horses.
Beijing Boy is a former New Zealander while Patrician’s Glory is part of the Waller success story of buying tried horses in England to race in Australia.
“We have just bought another nine and all the shares in them have been sold,” Waller said.
“They will all be in Australia in the next six to 12 weeks.”