Betting markets suggest Chris Waller has two good chances in the Stayer’s Cup at Randwick but the trainer is a little more cautious.
Sydney’s premier trainer will be in Brisbane overseeing his Group One runners on Saturday but will keep close watch on Opinion and Murphy’s Delight.
The Stayer’s Cup, the only other race apart from the Sydney Cup run over 3200 metres in Sydney, will be a watershed moment for both.
“Opinion is out of form,” Waller said.
“We took him to Queensland but he didn’t get warm up there.
“It’s now a question of what to do with an out-of-form horse to get him back.
“He has a massive weight but we knew that’s what he would get.”
As a Group One winner of the 2014 Metropolitan, Opinion will carry 62kg, eight kilograms more than the rest of the field which includes his stablemate Murphy’s Delight.
“Murphy’s Delight is a fit horse but is way out of his grade,” Waller said.
“We are having a throw at the stumps with him. He hasn’t been suited by the weights at his past couple.
The Bjorn Baker-trained Zatopaz is the TAB’s early $3.50 favourite with Murphy’s Delight at $3.80 and Opinion at $6.
At his first start of this preparation, Opinion made ground late to finish midfield in the Hawkesbury Cup won by stablemate Amovatio who runs in Saturday’s Listed Wayne Wilson Hcp (1600m) at Eagle Farm.
Waller brought Opinion back to Sydney after he finished last in the Group Three JRA Cup at Doomben won by Real Love who is the Brisbane Cup favourite.
He fared marginally better in the Listed McKell Cup (2400m) at Randwick last Saturday week when 10th of 12.
Murphy’s Delight finished eighth in that race after an unplaced run over 2200m at Scone under 59.5kg.
Opinion will be ridden by Rory Hutchings who rides at his last Saturday metropolitan meeting before his apprenticeship ends.
Hutchings has a stranglehold on the apprentices’ premiership with reigning titleholder Winona Costin sidelined with injury and 13 wins behind.
Brenton Avdulla, who has elected to remain in Sydney rather than chase rides in Brisbane, will be aboard Murphy’s Delight as he consolidates his position at the top of the NSW jockeys’ leaderboard.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au